The Technology Licensing Office ("TLO") of a research university develops and publishes the university's Mission Statement. It performs as an initial indicator of a university's technology transfer and commercialization philosophy and procedures as well as an overall guide for the policies and actions of their office and personnel.
IP Advocate believes it is imperative that the Technology Licensing Office make the well being of the university's researchers a top priority. If inventors are disenfranchised during the technology transfer process, the public, the university and the academic pursuit of knowledge will all suffer. There are certain universities operating on the forefront of this arena that can serve as models for technology licensing offices that may still be adjusting to the rapidly changing Intellectual Property licensing environment.
The institutions highlighted in this section all share commonalities that IP Advocate recognizes as “Best Practices” in their Technology Transfer Mission Statements. Emphasis on societal benefit, concern and respect for the inventor and investment in future research are all facets of the following Mission Statements:
- Harvard University - The Office of Technology Development of this esteemed institution has a number of staff members with years of industry specific business experience in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology as well as scientists and researchers from the university system.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Highly regarded for catering to the needs of the faculty, the Technology Licensing Office of MIT is staffed mostly by those with technology backgrounds and more than a decade of industry experience, specifically in commercializing technology.
- Stanford University - A major proponent in the push for Socially Responsible Licensing, the Stanford Office of Technology Licensing works to connect inventors to industry. They list inventors ahead of industry on the list of those who benefit from licensing efforts.
- Washington University in St. Louis - This Office of Technology Management places serving "the interests of the University and its faculty" first in its mission with it's notably absent language about profit seeking.