Through the late-20th century, university patents were considered government property, and barely five percent made it into industry applications. The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 reversed that trend, creating opportunities for science-trained professionals to work in a growing new field that bridges research and business.

The demand continues to grow for well-trained technology transfer professionals with strong scientific backgrounds and those specializing in invention disclosure and assessment, intellectual property management, marketing, licensing and startup company creation. Since its inception, AUTM has recognized the need for specialized training and became a leader for professional development in the industry. Providing training for all stages of a technology-transfer career, AUTM has identified two main areas of focus: Early Career Development and International Training.

The AUTM Foundation has developed a career-enhancing program designed to provide extensive training for science and engineering students interested in pursuing a career in academic technology transfer. Many graduate and doctoral students, as well as postdoctoral trainees, have the scientific background and knowledge to fill the demand for careers as tech transfer professionals.


Academic scientists and engineers are thinking more broadly about career opportunities beyond academia. Current opportunities exist to join the technology transfer profession, start or work for early-stage companies and contribute in related industries such as patent law or venture capital. However, entry into these professions requires substantial training beyond scientific education and research — that’s the value of AUTM.


To further develop and deliver AUTM’s multifaceted training, funding is needed to support the enhancement of current educational courses while developing new training opportunities that reflect the needs of the growing technology transfer profession. Projects include translating materials into other languages, developing cohesive collateral material, providing infrastructure support and program evaluations.