What We Do
The Office of Technology Development (OTD) serves to fulfill UNCís mission to advance knowledge, enhance education, and solve societal problems and enrich the quality of life in the State of North Carolina through:
- Facilitating the translation of new discoveries into useful products;
- Attracting industry research collaboration; and
- Stimulating local and regional economic development
OTDís professional project managers have considerable expertise in science, business development and intellectual property law. When UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff and students report their innovations, OTD:
- Evaluates the innovation for its commercial potential
- Takes steps to obtain appropriate protection for the intellectual property represented by the innovation
- Identifies strong prospects for commercial partnership
- Negotiates an appropriate licensing agreement
In some instances, the innovation can best be developed by a spin-off company incorporated for that very purpose, and our professionals are well-equipped to assist in the process of creating a start-up company. Whether OTD partners with an existing company or a new company, any income received through the commercial development of products and services is shared with the inventors and their departments, thereby creating a loop to encourage and fund still more research.
Patentable inventions, while in the majority of innovations reported to OTD, are not the only focus of OTDís licensing activities. We also work with copyright works and trademarks, and we have a variety of programs to license and disseminate software, multimedia and tangible research property for both research and commercial applications. OTD also develops, reviews and negotiates Material Transfer Agreements to facilitate the movement of research materials to and from the University. In addition, we consider it an important part of our mandate to reach out to the research community and help educate them on the key issues in protecting and transferring University intellectual property.