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Technology Commercialization

Monday June 13, 2011, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Boston, Massachusetts


The subject of the course is the innovative transformation of knowledge into commercial products and services with a specific focus on the commercialization of new technology. The course begins by examining concepts associated with technology commercialization and then takes a deeper dive into intellectual property, new venture creation, valuation, and assessment methodology. Concepts are introduced that improve and accelerate the commercialization process, from decisions made by scientists at the research bench, through the development, patenting, and licensing of new technologies, to the formation of entrepreneurial enterprises.


The course has the following objectives:

  1. To understand the key concepts and options in technology commercialization.
  2. To understand how to assess technologies for their commercialization potential.
  3. To understand the steps that a technology goes through in the journey from the laboratory to the marketplace.
  4. To explore the roles that intellectual property protection, and licensing play in the commercialization process.

Course Contents:

1. What is Technology Commercialization?

2. Intellectual Property

Every new technology entering the market needs some breathing room from competition, to allow it time to develop and gain acceptance. Technologies usually rely on Intellectual property protection to provide this room to grow. This section will discuss two of the most important barriers to competitive entry, copyrights and patents.

3. Licensing

In addition to the protection of intellectual assets, the successful management of intellectual property also involves prowess in trading intellectual assets. This section examines this topic by reviewing the basic legal and managerial dimensions of licensing intellectual property. Topics covered include: introduction to the legal framework for licensing in the United States and internationally; procedures for licensing out intellectual property; procedures for licensing in intellectual property; cross-licensing, cooperation and competition; linking licensing strategy to intellectual property protection; and, linking licensing strategy to overall corporate strategy.

4. New Venture Creation

Established companies can be very resistant to new technologies that threaten to make their existing investment in plant, people and patents irrelevant. History is full of examples of existing companies that were put out of business by new technologies that they had the opportunity to control and rejected. Often the inventor’s only option is to start a new company to develop the technology. Start-ups are exciting and can make a lot of money for the founders, but the road can be fraught with pitfalls.

This section will provide insight into the primary components of new venture creation including finding the right business model, the management team and financing.

5. Valuation

How do you know how much to ask for a technology? This section will discuss standard methodologies and will provide participants with practical tools for valuing technologies.

6. Assessment

This section will focus on a process for confirming (or, equally important) disproving the initial ideas of where a technology will find acceptance in the market and how much “breathing room” from competition it can expect the market to give it.

Who Should Attend:

The course is intended for scientists and engineers who are interested in translating their research into the commercial marketplace, for professionals who are responsible for intellectual property management, in-licensing or out-licensing, and/or early stage venture creation or fore executives interested in broad introduction to technology commercialization.

Course Instructors:

Michael Pratt Michael Pratt is Executive Director Business Development at the Office of Technology Transfer at Boston University.

Mr. Pratt joined Boston University’s Office of Technology Development in May 2000. He spent five years in Office of Technology Transfer, responsible for the transfer of technologies from the fields of physical, engineering, and computer sciences. As Director of the Office of Corporate Business Development, Mr. Pratt is responsible for building long term partnerships with a special focus on technology development between Boston University/Boston Medical Center and industry.

Prior to OTD, Mr. Pratt was the Global Support Manager at NESLAB Instruments, Inc. of Portsmouth New Hampshire. His duties included management of the Application Engineering and Technical Support departments, P&L responsibility for the field service operation, and maintaining relationships with their International Dealer network.

Mr. Pratt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Holy Cross College. He is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

Sean LeeSean Lee, Ph.D has worked in technology commercialization for the last 16 years, most recently as Director, Business Development at the Office of Technology Transfer at Boston University, which he joined in October of 2005.

Dr. Lee has held various positions in corporate research and business development within the biomaterials and medical device field. HE has worked at two university start-ups, as a consultant and at Schott AG. At Schott AG he directed the company’s overall scientific and business activities in bioactive glass. Dr. Lee began his career at his own start-up within the University of Florida incubator system.

Dr. Lee received his Ph.D in theoretical physics from the University of Florida, his Diplom Physik degree from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and a BS in physics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

He also founded and currently consults for a new technology commercialization initiative GATE – Global Accelerators of Technology Entrepreneurship - to support collaborations between US entrepreneurial ecosystems and those in emerging markets.

Jonathan JensenJonathan Jensen
Director, Business Development, Boston University.

Jon Jensen joined the Office of Technology Development at Boston University in June of 2006. He manages a physical sciences portfolio of inventions, focusing much his time on advanced materials, energy, IT, and software related technologies.

Jon received his Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University’s Graduate School of Management, and both his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and his Graduate Certificate in Intellectual Property from Northeastern University. As an undergraduate at Northeastern, Jon gained industry experience as a Test Engineer for genomics, medical device, software, and product development companies. Jon is also a Certified Licensing Professional™ and a USPTO Registered Patent Agent. Jon is a member of the Licensing Executive Society (LES) and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

In his free time, Jon enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, and traveling.

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