OTMIR: A New Approach to Promoting Faculty Invention and Innovation at MU
The MU Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations was formed just over two years ago following a reorganization of the Office of Technology and Special Projects. Its goal, then as now, is to identify marketable technology resulting from research at the University of Missouri, legally protect it, and see that it benefits the public.
OTMIR's mission also involves generating income for the University and its faculty inventors, developing and enhancing relationships with industrial partners and, in general, boosting our region's prospects for continued economic development.
As part of the plan for achieving these goals, the OTMIR management and staff have developed a three-pronged strategy.
First, OTMIR is working to provide an environment at MU that fosters intellectual discovery, creative problem solving and the dissemination and application of knowledge. Next, OTMIR is striving to offer superior support services to our research clientele and industry partners. Finally, OTMIR is bringing a range of new resources to bear in an effort to establish additional national and international partnerships.
Communication is key to the success of these endeavors. Toward that end, OTMIR personnel spend a great deal of time in the laboratories and offices of MU faculty members learning exactly what expertise these scientists and scholars have to offer. The team also helps MU faculty researchers become more responsive to the needs of corporate partners, and to meet expectations of contractual agreements. In addition, OTMIR staff act as liaisons between University faculty and private industry, assisting both parties in understanding MU intellectual property and research agreement policies.
At present, OTMIR staff are actively managing more than 300 technologies developed by MU faculty researchers at several different stages of marketing. It's an impressive number of projects for any university, let alone in institution that employs a minimal number of profesional licensing associates.
Such numbers are just the first indication of what will be a dramatic increase in MU's industrially supported research, a boost that will further enhance the University's role in making important new discoveries and technologies available to the citizens of our state and nation.