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TTU System Revamps Technology Commercialization Office to Aid Researchers

David Miller

Under Miller's direction, the new office will work with university researchers to bring their discoveries and inventions to the marketplace. 

David L. Miller named Vice Chancellor of Commercialization.

May 12, 2008 | Written by Michelle Hougland

The Texas Tech University System is making changes that will help researchers introduce their new discoveries to the marketplace.

The Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property has been renamed the Office of Technology Commercialization. David L. Miller, who previously served as the managing director, has been named Vice Chancellor of Commercialization.

“This is the first step in our plan to create a world-class technology commercialization function for researchers at the Texas Tech University System. David is a huge asset to this process and we are happy to have him leading this initiative,” said Chancellor Kent Hance.

The main function of the new office is to take a researcher’s ideas, concepts and/or inventions to the marketplace. Miller and his team will continue developing startup companies, assembling an infrastructure to provide "proof-of-concept" funding and building relationships with external funding partners.

“Our researchers are some of the best in the world at what they do and we want to be able to offer them the opportunity to take their work to a more public forum,” said Miller. “At the same time the process benefits the Texas Tech University System by creating a future revenue stream from products created from its research efforts that become commercially viable. That money can then be used to support continued research and to provide scholarships.”

Once an idea or invention qualifies for commercialization, a financial investment is made by the university to fine tune the concept and determine its viability in the marketplace. Miller’s office works with partners to support continued efforts toward a startup business.

“Building relationships internally and externally in order to get inventors and external partners together for the betterment of the invention is a huge part of what we do,” said Miller. “We want inventors to understand the process of selection and be involved in the progression of the project. One of the keys to our success will be to remain clear and concise as we facilitate this process.”

Some well known commercial inventions to come out of a university setting include Gatorade (University of Florida), Google Inc. (Stanford) and Taxol (Florida State University), which the National Cancer Institute has described as the most important cancer drug in 15 years.