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Advanced Studies in Technology Transfer

What is Technology Transfer?

Technology transfer is a term used to describe a formal transfer of rights to another party to use and commercialize new discoveries and innovations resulting from scientific research. Universities typically transfer technology through protecting new innovations by use of patents and copyrights, then licensing them. Major steps in this process include the disclosure of innovations, patenting the innovation concurrent with the publication of scientific research, and licensing the rights to innovations to industry for commercial development ( The technology transfer field employs more than 10,000 professionals in the U.S., many of whom practice their trade in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

NIH is the nation’s leader in health research and is one of the world’s foremost medical research centers. After the landmark legislations in the 1980s, NIH also led the nation in technology transfer and spawned, from its research, the development of a number of lifesaving drugs, vaccines, and medical devices ( Research scientists and technology transfer professionals at the NIH work together to ensure that basic results in the lab get transplanted successfully to the marketplace as useful biomedical products.

Advanced Studies in Technology Transfer

The FAES Academic Programs at NIH developed a unique Advanced Studies in Technology Transfer to serve the needs of scientists or engineers who wish to gain expertise in patenting, licensing, collaborative agreements, and other fundamental intellectual property transactions and/or to provide additional training to professionals already in the field.

The program culminates in an independent Capstone Project through which students will be required to demonstrate their knowledge of the theory and practice of technology transfer by completing a project of their design and choice at the NIH or in their regional community.

General Requirements

The Advanced Studies in Technology Transfer is open to persons with a Bachelor’s degree in science or engineering. Courses are offered in the evenings, making it convenient for working professionals and postgraduate Fellows to seek additional training or gain expertise and experience in patenting, licensing, collaborative agreements, and other fundamental intellectual property transactions. Faculty are leading practitioners in the field. So, students can simultaneously gain the necessary knowledge and build professional networks.

The program comprises a self-paced 15-credit curriculum that can be completed in approximately two years.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Understand fundamental technology-transfer processes for transferring scientific findings from one organization to another for the purpose of further development and commercialization

  • Explain and describe the role that intellectual property will play in the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a knowledge-based economy as part of industrial and societal development

  • Describe and explain specific technology transfer processes involved with: (1) identifying new technologies; (2) protecting technologies through patents and other forms of intellectual property; and, (3) forming development and commercialization strategies, such as marketing and licensing to existing private sector companies, or creating new startup companies based on the technology

  • Learn to apply technology-transfer processes to ensure that new discoveries have the opportunity to reach the stream of commerce and that investments in intellectual property are returned to the public through products that benefit the public and increase employment as well as state and federal taxes

  • Understand how commercialization of scientific innovations can be pursued without disrupting the core research institution values of publication and sharing of information, research results, materials, and know-how

“I took FAES’s classes to explore alternative career possibilities besides bench science. I really enjoyed the coursework because it opened my eyes widely. I learned a lot about business development, patent law, finance, and negotiation skills. The advanced studies in technology transfer served as a stepping-stone for a new career. It helped me to land my current job as a technology transfer specialist in the Navy.”

Technology Transfer Specialist, Naval Medical Research Center

Required Courses

TECH 513 | Introduction to Technology Transfer (or TECH 513A)
TECH 565 | Biomedical Business Development for Scientists
TECH 607 | Capstone Course in Technology Transfer


CHEM 327 | The Art of Drug Design and Discovery
PHAR 328 | FDA Perspective on Drug Development
TECH495 | The FDA: Science, Health Policy, and Regulation in an Uncertain Environment
TECH 508 | Regulatory Affairs and FDA Regulation
TECH 521 | Tools for Technology Transfer Managers - Handling Intellectual Property, Collaborations, and Agreements
TECH 525 | Legal and Ethical Issues in Public Health and Biomedical Sciences
TECH 528 | Preclinical Evaluation of Novel Drugs and Beyond
TECH 566 | Building a Biotechnology Company: Leadership and Management Strategies
TECH 567 | International Strategic Partnering and Business Development
TECH 572 | Marketing Strategies for Scientific Organizations
TECH 575 | Accounting and IP Valuation for Non-Accountants
TECH 582 | Intellectual Property and Patent Prosecution for Scientists
TECH 583 | Patent Research for Scientists and Engineers
TECH 584 | Translational Medical Product Development
TECH 586 | International Health Science, Technology, and Innovation
TECH 588 | FDA Regulatory Strategy in Medical Product Development
TECH 607 | Capstone Course in Technology Transfer (second time would count as an elective)

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