Lisa’s guest on this episode of TTIP is Rob Gerlach. Rob is the Executive Director of Tech Transfer and Commercialization at Wichita State University and a registered Patent Attorney. At Wichita State, Rob is tasked with protecting the University’s intellectual property and transferring innovation from the university to the commercial marketplace where its true potential can be realized. Rob believes that conventional technology transfer methods don’t work for universities situated like Wichita State. One of his primary goals is to reshape how urban-serving universities handle tech transfer.
Listen, as Rob shares his journey to Tech Transfer at Wichita State University, why he transitioned from working at a law firm to heading the office and how his office is structured. Rob speaks about getting students involved in tech transfer and what he looks for when hiring his team.
Rob discusses how he feels tech transfer can best serve the mission of an urban-setting university like Wichita State, how many disclosures, and the licensing revenue his office has generated this past year. Rob discusses their corporate partners and how current partnerships have enabled them to create some of their best technology.
Rob believes that setting expectations and establishing an innovation culture are two of his office’s biggest challenges. His vision for the future is to continue expanding on what they are doing now in tech transfer and getting more students involved. Rob is involved with AUTM and says that AUTM and similar organizations provide a lot of value, but he isn’t a big fan of credentialing.
In This Episode:
- [01:55] Welcome to the show, Rob!
- [02:26] Rob shares his journey to Tech Transfer at Wichita State University.
- [05:16] Rob talks about running a startup versus working at a law firm.
- [06:24] Rob speaks about how his office is structured.
- [09:03] Listen as Rob discusses NIAR and the relationship to his office.
- [11:23] Rob talks about what he is looking for when it comes to hiring students.
- [11:57] How do you feel that tech transfer can best serve the mission of an urban-serving university like Wichita State?
- [14:53] Rob shares how many invention disclosures and the amount of licensing revenues they have had this past year.
- [16:51] Rob talks about what he believes is the most important thing in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity for success.
- [19:19] Rob discusses the role corporate partners have played in tech transfer at Wichita State.
- [22:12] Rob says that their corporate partners have led to differently structured deals.
- [24:01] Rob shares some current partnerships they have created with some of their technologies.
- [27:36] Setting expectations and establishing an innovation culture are two of Rob’s office’s biggest challenges.
- [30:57] Rob is a co-host of the podcast Shock Talk; listen as he shares more about what this podcast is about.
- [34:00] Does Wichita State have any programs to help encourage and assist women inventors and entrepreneurs?
- [36:32] Rob talks about the value he believes organizations like AUTM provide.
- [37:27] Rob is not a fan of credentialing in general but can see the value in it.
- [38:22] Rob’s vision for Wichita State is to continue expanding what they are doing in tech transfer and continuing to get more students involved.
- [40:20] Thank you for being on the show!
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