Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

Technology transfer supports the life cycle of technology, from inception to market diffusion and commercialization.

Intellectual property (IP) is an important instrument at the research and development level. It helps assure the ownership over intellectual findings and the capacity to control the use of IP in line with an institution's mission and core values.

IP is also a powerful business tool to gain position on the market and exclusivity over a new product or process.  This makes it an important instrument to attract partners and potentially obtain return on research investment through development collaboration or licensing deals.

Understanding how IP serves technology transfer is the first step towards managing your technology transfer processes effectively.

What is technology transfer?

Technology transfer (TT) is a collaborative process that allows scientific findings, knowledge and intellectual property to flow from creators, such as universities and research institutions, to public and private users.  Its goal is to transform inventions and scientific outcomes into new products and services that benefit society. Technology transfer is closely related to knowledge transfer.

Read the full list of FAQs on technology transfer.

WIPO’s explainer video on technology transfer

Video: Learn more about technology transfer and its relation to intellectual property.

Technology transfer within the innovation ecosystem

For successful technology transfer, universities and research institutions need to operate in an effective innovation ecosystem – an interconnected network of governmental, industry and research institutions and enabling factors (such as human capital, technology transfer structures, and sophistication of businesses and market). In such an ecosystem, the parties bring their resources and expertise together to collaboratively achieve innovation in the service of regional and economic development.

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IP Policies for Universities and Research Institutions

All you need to know about what an IP policy is, why your institution needs one, and how to create an effective policy using the WIPO IP Policy Toolkit.

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Technology Transfer Organizations

Learn more about the different types of technology transfer structures, their roles of intermediaries, and how they can enhance the technology transfer process.

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Human Capital at the Service of Technology Transfer

Find out how can you incentivize and support the development and training of your institution’s researchers and technology transfer managers.

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From Lab to Market

Learn how to navigate common market challenges related to academic technology transfer.

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Technology Transfer Agreements

Find our more about the different types and features of technology transfer contracts.

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Management of Academic Assets 

All you need to know about effectively managing the IP rights of your institution's intangible assets for technology transfer .

Technology transfer in the context of COVID-19

WIPO has developed a flexible platform for innovation support and technology transfer In relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform comprises evidence-based analysis, capacity development, institutional frameworks and policies, and related information and knowledge resources.

Elements of the platform include resources related to:

  1. Successful technology licensing;
  2. IP valuation;
  3. Database of IP Policies from Universities and Research Institutions containing National IP Policy Models and specific university and R&D institution policies;
  4. Capacity building programs for Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs) and technology transfer structures.
Video title

TaITech COVID-19 technology

During the COVID-19 pandemic, academic institutions provided significant input in the process of development of vaccines and COVID-related therapeutics.

Technology transfer in action