Texas Tech Revamps Technology Commercialization Office to Aid Researchers

The Texas Tech University System is making changes that will help researchers introduce their new discoveries to the marketplace.

The Texas Tech University System is making changes that will help researchers introduce their new discoveries to the marketplace.

The Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property has been renamed the Office of Technology Commercialization. David L. Miller, who previously served as the managing director, has been named Vice Chancellor of Commercialization.

"This is the first step in our plan to create a world-class technology commercialization function for the researchers at Texas Tech. David is a huge asset to this process and we are happy to have him leading this initiative," said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.

The main function of the Office of Technology Commercialization is to take a researcher’s ideas, concepts and/or inventions to the marketplace. Miller and his team will continue developing start-up companies, assembling an infrastructure to finance proof of concept funding and building relationships with external funding partners.

"Our researchers are some of the best in the world at what they do and we want to be able to offer them the opportunity to take their work to a more public forum," Miller said. "At the same time the process benefits Texas Tech by creating a future revenue stream from products created from its research efforts that become commercially viable. That money can then be used to support continued research and to provide scholarships."

Once an idea or invention qualifies for commercialization, a financial investment is made by the university to fine-tune the concept and determine its viability in the marketplace. Miller’s office works with partners to support the researcher’s continued efforts toward a start-up business.

"Building relationships internally and externally in order to get inventors and external partners together for the betterment of the invention is a huge part of what we do," Miller said. "We want inventors to understand the process of selection and be involved in the progression of the project. One of the keys to our success will be to remain clear and concise as we facilitate this process."

Some well-known commercial inventions to come out of a university setting include Gatorade (University of Florida), Google Inc. (Stanford) and Taxol (Florida State University), which the National Cancer Institute has described as the most important cancer drug in 15 years.

CONTACT: David L. Miller, vice chancellor of commercialization, (806) 252-5578 or david.l.miller@ttu.edu