In this episode of Tech Transfer IP Lisa and her guest, Les Nichols, discuss how after many years of working in business development, sales and support focused around the semiconductor industry, he ended up in the tech transfer field. He shares how he got his position at the OTC at the University of Texas at Austin, plus much more.
Les is the Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). In this role, Les leads a team of twenty-five who focus on creating value and technology developed by UT Austin researchers who facilitate the transfer of inventions from academic research to outside organizations for the benefit of society on a local, national and global basis. Les oversees all aspects of OTC business, intellectual property, and startup and licensing activities between OTC and faculty university-wide.
Listen as Les shares how his office is structured, how he feels the Bayh-Dole Act has helped universities, and what he would change. They also discuss how the coronavirus is putting a spotlight on university research and how important it is to find a vaccine.
Les speaks about how his office handles patent litigation, the role the corporate partners have played at UT, and an enhanced interest they’ve seen in collaborative research projects. He shares some of his office’s most significant success and the two biggest challenges they face. Les believes that institutions like AUTM provide needed value to all universities.
If you are interested in how tech transfer works at the UT at Austin, this is an episode you don’t want to miss. Les shares his thoughts and insights into the tech transfer process, and why these offices are so important.
In This Episode:
- [02:49] Les, welcome to the show!
- [03:10] Les shares his journey to tech transfer after years of being in the semiconductor industry.
- [06:42] Les talks about moving to a company where he helped start a new company from scratch.
- [10:03] Les speaks about how his office is structured and his 25 team members’ roles.
- [14:50] How has the Bayh-Dole Act affected your University, and would you change anything about the act?
- [17:55] Les believes that the coronavirus is putting a spotlight on how vital university research can be.
- [19:26] Les shares his offices’ numbers around disclosures, patents, and startups.
- [22:13] How has your office handled patent litigation? What is your litigation process?
- [25:41] Les speaks about their method of filing provisionals now that they have reorganized it.
- [31:02] Les discusses what role their corporate partners have played in tech transfer at UT.
- [33:10] Les speaks about an enhanced interest in massive research projects.
- [35:05] Can you share some of your office’s most significant successes?
- [39:00] Les highlights the two biggest challenges his office faces.
- [43:45] Les chats about programs the University of Texas at Austin has for women entrepreneurs.
- [46:10] Do you believe institutions like AUTM provide value?
- [49:22] Les shares his thoughts on credentialing.
- [50:54] Les speaks about what he would wish for his office if a genie gave him three wishes.
- [53:02] Les, thank you so much for being the show today!