More to tech transfer than meets the eye


by Tyler Mueller, UNeMed | Nov. 24, 2014

When I first told people about my internship, I really didn’t know what to say.

Tyler Mueller

Tyler Mueller

It was before I had even started working there. Before I went in for the interview, I visited the website and thought I had a pretty good idea of what UNeMed did. I kept seeing the same description over and over again; “The technology transfer office.” Most people didn’t know what this meant so I just told them “they’re like the salesmen for research at the university.”

Now I can safely say there’s so much more to it than that.

Every business has the primary goal of profit. But this feels different. Everyone works hard with each other and the researchers at the university. The staff is passionate about their career and it shows through their work. They take it seriously because what they do can affect the world and they strive for it.

Admittedly, it was a bit overwhelming at first. The staff is incredibly educated. And with all those degrees, I figured everyone would be wealthy. To me, licensing and selling life-saving treatments would be one of the most profitable markets. But they’re not working for that paycheck each week; they are working for the satisfaction that their work can change the world and make it a better place.

This same attitude is reflected through stories on the website and speakers at the shareholder meeting. Technology transfer offices are about helping people, how creative and innovative people can be. The shareholder meeting wasn’t about how much money they were making. The focus was on these amazing technologies they have already started licensing and already started working towards the end goal of helping a patient.

Not every technology licensed at the university is designed to save lives. Some technologies simply eliminate the hassle of a task in the lab. But they all serve a purpose, with some having the potential change the world.

When I think about what technology transfer means to me, I don’t think about salesmen or profits anymore. I think about new ideas, new technologies, new treatments, new medicines, and new procedures and how to we take that and get it to the masses and those who need it. We edge closer and closer towards a time when the problems of today can be solved tomorrow.

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