Talking Tech Transfer

Talking Tech Transfer

Talking Tech Transfer is a weekly interview series with thought leaders in university tech transfer, hosted by Global University Venturing’s editor Thierry Heles.


December 2, 2022 38 min

Randi Elisabeth Taxt is the senior adviser at VIS, the regional tech transfer office for Vestlandet (its owners include University of Bergen, Haukeland University Hospital, the Institute of Marine Research, Siva, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, and NHH Norwegian Business School) and she tells us about the history of tech transfer in the country, which means its regional approach emerged organically.

She ponders whet...

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Ole Kristian Hjelstuen is the chief executive of Inven2, the tech transfer organisation owned by University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, which doesn’t just handle all of the typical research commercialisation aspects but also manages clinical trials at its partner institutions (which include all the health trusts in the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority).

Ole’s been in the job since 2012, when he joined from ...

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November 18, 2022 34 min

Today is Simon Bond’s first day as director of Bristol Innovations, an initiative launched by University of Bristol earlier this year to accelerate entrepreneurship among its researchers, students and staff. Bond joins from SETsquared, the global number one incubator backed by the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, which he had led since 2014.

Bond tells us what attracted him to the new job and ...

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November 11, 2022 50 min

Douglas Hansen-Luke launched Future Planet Capital in 2015 after 18 months researching the then-nascent university venturing scene and over the past seven years has built an impact-led global innovation investment platform that is active in ecosystems around MIT, Stanford, Oxford and others around the world.

Douglas tells us why Future Planet Capital focuses on these ecosystems and why they are so good at what they do. He also rev...

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October 27, 2022 30 min

Mary Albertson became director of the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) at Georgia Tech in July 2022, having previously worked for University of Utah’s PIVOT Center and having spent the majority of her career working at Stanford University for nearly 27 years. She’s been president of AUTM and received its President’s Award in 2015 for her long-standing service.

She tells us what brought her to Georgia Tech, what the institute c...

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October 20, 2022 46 min

Yasser Biaz is the chief executive of UM6P Ventures, the venture fund of University Mohammed VI Polytechnic in Morocco, and he joins us today to talk about why it focuses on deeptech and builds and invests not just in spinouts from its home institution or even just across the country, but throughout Africa and beyond.

UM6P Ventures is a relatively young fund — it was set up in 2019 — but that hasn’t stopped it from coming up with ...

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October 13, 2022 35 min

Duncan Johnson, chief executive of Northern Gritstone, is on a mission to turn the north of England into an ecosystem that rivals Silicon Valley. He’s raising £500m to do that (he’s £215m of the way there already) — money that will go not only into spinouts from the firm’s three founding universities (Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield) but into businesses throughout northern England.

He tells us why Northern Gritstone is all about p...

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I have a two-for-one this week: Glen Gardner and David Winwood of Gardner Innovation Search Partners, a recruitment firm specialised in tech transfer, are joining the show this week.

Glen tells us why he set up the firm and Dave reveals why, after two and a half decades of leading tech transfer offices, he was attracted to recruitment. They ponder everything from the great resignation to the complexities of salary levels, and eve...

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September 29, 2022 36 min

Maxine Ficarra was the chief executive of PraxisAuril for nearly 20 years, stepping down today as this episode is released.

Maxine has helped shaped the profession like few others have. She led the organisation through two mergers, a pandemic and concluded with PraxisAuril’s largest conference yet in June this year. She’s also usually the one interviewing others on stage, so I am very honoured that she is giving her farewell inte...

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September 22, 2022 52 min

Elicia Maine has thought and written a lot about innovation in her more than two decades as professor for innovation and entrepreneurship at Simon Fraser University. It’s no surprise then that in July this year she was named the institution’s inaugural associate vice-president, knowledge mobilisation and innovation.

On this episode, Elicia talks us through a six-year study she co-authored identifying the four key pre-incorporation...

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September 15, 2022 43 min

In June this year, Kimberly Gramm became the inaugural chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer at Tulane University, which she joined after more than six years at Texas Tech University.

Her mission couldn’t be more ambitious: charged with driving economic development in the Greater New Orleans region, she will be leading the brand new Tulane Innovation Institute that itself will revitalise a gigantic, defunct hospital that’...

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September 8, 2022 46 min

Rich Lyons became UC Berkeley’s inaugural chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer in January 2020, having previously been dean of the Haas Business School for a decade. For the past two and a half years, he’s been tying the ecosystem together in a way that makes everyone want to participate rather than forcing them to sign up.

Rich tells us about the Berkeley-affiliated funds, which uniquely all donate a share of their profi...

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Hailing from Australia, Anthony Francis started out as an accountant before establishing the Technology Commercialisation Group in 1999, selling it to Deloitte in 2005 and spending a couple of years with the firm. He then spent nearly a decade as managing director of Flinders University’s TTO, Flinders Partners, before landing, in 2019, at UCSF Innovation Ventures, the commercialisation arm of University of California, San Francisc...

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It may sound crazy that any government could try and reclaim project funding plus 5% from a spinout, but yes, that is exactly the situation that Álvaro Ossa, the director of transfer and development at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, has been facing. The lobbying effort to get the article removed from the law is ongoing, and this is one of the topics we’ll cover in this interview.

Álvaro also tells us about why it’s impo...

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August 18, 2022 25 min

Cédric Van Nevel is a partner at Qbic, an early-stage venture fund that invests in the spinouts of its 16 partners throughout Belgium. Cédric joins us to chat about the fund’s origins, why it’s such a strength to work with teams pre-incorporation and why Qbic is happy to keep focusing on the Belgian ecosystem rather than expand internationally.

He also ponders what makes Belgium such an entrepreneurial country and looks back at hi...

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August 11, 2022 44 min

Lisa Ericsson is both the head of KTH Innovation and chief executive of KTH Holding, the respective innovation department and investment arm of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, which she joined in 2002 after having spun out business plan competition Venture Cup from McKinsey.

Apart from telling us why KTH Innovation targets both students and faculty, Lisa also ponders the pitfalls of professor’s privilege in Sweden, and reflect...

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August 4, 2022 44 min

When Laurent Miéville met one of his first mentors at Stanford University, he was told that Switzerland was about to become a hotspot for innovation and so he made the decision to return and join, in 1998, the University of Geneva where he set up the tech transfer office, Unitec.

He’s led the office ever since, and in that time saw the sector in Europe evolve into the profession it is today. He was president of ASTP from 2007 to ...

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July 28, 2022 38 min

University of Calgary is the number one Canadian institution for startup creation, according to Autm’s 2020 ranking and it’s achieved that through a range of fascinating initiatives, like its clinical trial design programme.

John Wilson, chief executive of Innovate Calgary, tells us more about that programme on this episode, and also delves into why Calgary, whose economy has been built on fossil fuels, is uniquely placed to put ...

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Fred Farina is the chief innovation and corporate partnerships officer at California Institute of Technology (or Caltech) where his duties also include overseeing the technology transfer out of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He tells us what it was like to start his career in tech transfer by being hired by AUTM founder Larry Gilbert and what has kept him around Caltech for more than two decades.

Caltech came to technology tr...

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Poonam Malik is a passionate advocate for investing in and supporting women-founded companies, a message she is able to spread both as the head of investments at University of Strathclyde and several other appointments, including a board position at government-owned economic development agency Scottish Enterprise.

She joins us to discuss the importance of overcoming unconscious bias in investments, what gives Strathclyde an edge ...

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