Arizona State University to announce tech transfer office

Arizona State University will announce today that it is spinning off its technology transfer office into a separate organization that will be faster and more flexible at commercializing professors’ inventions.

Jane Larson
The Arizona Republic

The new entity will be named Arizona Technology Enterprises and will be established as a limited liability company operating as a subsidiary of the not-for-profit ASU Foundation.

It will be headed by Peter Slate, recently director of global technology outlicensing for biomedical giant Baxter International Inc. in Deerfield, Ill. He will start as chief executive officer April 1.

ASU President Michael Crow said the move is designed to stimulate new technology and business opportunities in the state.

The separate office will have more flexibility, including being able to hold equity in exchange for licenses, said Jonathan Fink, ASU vice president for research and economic affairs. He said Slate’s business background was a strong factor.

Slate said he plans to build partnerships with businesses and venture capitalists that can tap the university’s areas of expertise.

"We’ll create a market-focused organization that understands what technologies are relevant to what companies," he said.

Some of the five staffers in ASU’s current Office of Technology Collaboration and Licensing will transfer to the new organization, ASU said.

Technology transfer, the process by which university research is turned into viable businesses and products, has become a hot topic in Arizona as Gov. Janet Napolitano and high-tech businesses seek ways to boost the economy.

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