Welcome to this episode of Tech Transfer IP. Today Lisa’s guest is Fiona Wills. Fiona is the Associate Vice Provost of Innovation Development and Commercialization CoMotion at the University of Washington (UW). Fiona’s group guides researchers through project development towards impact through licensing either to an existing company, a UW or startup and incubation, or direct user licensing from UW.
Fiona shares her journey into Tech Transfer and what inspired her to take the position at UW. Fiona speaks about CoMotion, what it is, and what it does. She also speaks about the four areas CoMotion provides to support innovations, and the new series they just launched called “Fundamentals for Hardware Startups”.
Listen, as Fiona talks about how her office is structured and their Innovation Development Group and Business Development Group and how they work together. Fiona shares the many inventions that have been disclosed to her office in the last five years and why they like to keep disclosures on the lower side.
Fiona discusses their top five earning innovations over the last five years and how they work with their corporate partners. Fiona also speaks about some of their biggest success stories in startups and spin-offs and her office’s two biggest challenges. To finish up, Fiona shares what three things she would wish for if her office has a genie in a bottle.
In This Episode:
- [01:46] Welcome to the show, Fiona!
- [02:04] Fiona shares her journey into Tech Transfer and her position at the University of Washington.
- [03:55] Fiona speaks about CoMotion, what it is, and what it does.
- [05:01] CoMotion provides four different areas that support innovations.
- [08:11] Fiona discusses startups and incubation that CoMotion supports.
- [11:00] She shares about a new series called Fundamentals for Hardware Startups.
- [12:37] Fiona speaks about how her office is structured and how many people she has working in her office.
- [15:13] She talks about their Innovation Development group and the Business Development and Ventures group.
- [16:44] How many inventions have been disclosed to your office in the last five years?
- [18:21] Fiona discusses the philosophy of keeping the disclosures on the lower side and having the PI’s come in and interview.
- [19:41] How many licenses have you had signed over the last five years?
- [20:24] Fiona shares their top five earning inventions over the last five years.
- [23:19] Fiona speaks about the corporate partners and how they work with them at CoMotion.
- [25:04] She talks about how corporate partners have affected them the most.
- [27:00] What would you have done differently when you first started in tech transfer if you knew then what you know now?
- [29:35] Fiona shares some of their biggest success stories in startups or spin-offs.
- [32:49] Listen as Fiona speaks about her office’s two biggest challenges.
- [34:07] What are some challenges in the Seattle ecosystem?
- [35:39] Fiona discusses the inclusivity they strive for at CoMotion.
- [36:50] Fiona talks about how important organizations like AUTM and LES are.
- [38:37] Do you think credentialing is important when hiring for your office?
- [39:47] Fiona shares what her three wishes for CoMotion would be if she had a genie in a bottle.
- [41:55] Thank you for being on the show!