Letter: Big benefits
22 September 2006
It is correct that covering costs of technology transfer or making a profit is extremely difficult, but it is not impossible.
A properly organised and managed unit should at least break even, but that will require many years of investment in infrastructure. At UCL we consistently generate income over and above our costs. But more relevant to the debate is whether technology-transfer offices are set up to generate cash or to act as facilitators in encouraging knowledge transfer. Many universities believe the role is the latter. Perhaps the premise that there is an expectation that TTOs should cover their costs is at fault.
Cengiz Tarhan, UCL Business PLC, 'The Times Higher Education Supplement'