Rensselaer Forward: Translation

Click here to view the report in Box, and comment on the report below.


hahnj wrote

There is a lot of good information in this report that certainly would improve the status quo. That being said, there are two components that I see as problematic and they should be revisited:

  1. "Establish a priority in hiring new faculty who are eager to do basic research, yet interested in exploring applications that can lead to new inventions. Make this a criterion as part of the hiring process also for senior administrators such as department heads and deans." The general procedure is that the president hires the provost, the provost hires the deans, the deans hire the department heads, and the department heads (in conjunction with the departmental faculty) hire the faculty members. If any one of these people want to give special credit to applicants who are interested in entrepreneurship then this is great, but hiring decisions should not be imposed from the outside nor should there be an ill-defined "priority" for hiring. The absolute last thing RPI needs right now is have even more rules imposed on us by upper administration, or, even worse, have a VP meddle in dean/DH/faculty hiring; we have had too much of this for the last two decades and it did not go well. Just let the provost do her job and let the deans do theirs.
  2. The idea to offer entrepreneurial content in the form of 1 credit hour classes is fine. However, this should not go to the degree where we end up having an entrepreneurial requirement. We already have a HASS requirement, a data-dexterity requirement, an English writing requirement, and if we now add another one then it simply gets to be too much.
Tue, 10/10/2023 - 5:48 PM Permalink

kumarm2 wrote

A great report, and thanks to the committee. 

A few suggestions and observations that are hopefully useful.

First, some efforts to establish a culture of trust between faculty and the Institute when it comes to IP matters may be worthwhile, such as explaining our IP policy in detail, showing how it compares to other schools, and highlighting how we are consistent with our peers etc.

Second, perhaps we could have an Entrepreneurship bootcamp for all faculty independent of NSF I-Corps, so that faculty get exposed to translation principles irrespective of whether they actually have an opportunity in mind that they want to commercialize.

Third, it would be great to learn best practices from schools that have been very successful in translation, such as Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab, and of course, MIT. 

Fourth, it may be useful to take stock of our current research initiatives and their translation potential. We could build a list of technologies developed on campus along a spectrum of: basic- still in lab but has high commercialization potential, moving toward commercialization, ready for commercialization. The third category would be low hanging fruit we could immediately start working on. In general assessing our current research in each school/department in terms of commercialization and translation potential could be a useful endeavor.     

Thanks to the committee for their efforts! Best. Shyam.  

Wed, 10/11/2023 - 9:56 AM Permalink

raisuo wrote

The IP office needs to engage the inventors more in the process of obtaining patents.

As an example, right now if a student comes up with an idea and would like to patent it, the IPO will quickly issue a provisional patent, which is fine. Then they hire consultants to evaluate the technology, which is also fine.


But from then on the IPO does their marketing campaign to decide whether they would like to go ahead with filing for a patent based on the response they get. This process is inefficient and appears to be flawed.

  1. If the inventor has already done customer discovery or a market survey, this information is not shared with the IPO. The inventor may be better informed about the right people to market to and the appropriate value propositions.
  2. This process immediately weeds out nascent technologies or ideas, and therefore does not provide protection to big picture ideas. Only technologies with immediate application or commercialization can survive this process.


I suggest more communication between the IPO and the inventors in this process for efficacy.

Fri, 11/03/2023 - 3:26 PM Permalink
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