ASK THE TECH MANAGER: Bill Brizzard discusses how inventors can help IURTC commercialize inventions (Part 1 of 2)

headshot of Bill Brizzard
Director of Technology Commercialization, Bloomington 

Q: How can I help with the commercialization of my work?

A: You’ve submitted an invention disclosure and a patent application has been filed. Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation will market your invention to prospective commercial partners. However, it is a challenge to find the right one. You can help by identifying potential commercial applications for your invention and sharing these with IURTC. If you have personal contacts in industry, it is very helpful if you share these as well.

All major research universities have technology transfer offices that are actively marketing their inventions. This means prospective commercial partners are approached with a large number of opportunities, which makes it difficult for your invention to be noticed.

In practice, inventors are usually the best promoters of their invention. One problem in marketing inventions is finding the right contact within a company. The subject matter is usually highly technical and it may be difficult for business contacts to immediately see the advantages. As a result, research staff within the company often represent the best initial contact. Many successful industry partnerships are initiated through contacts made by the inventor following a presentation at a research conference. Publication of the invention in professional journals is also helpful in promoting the invention.

You can help IURTC market your invention by doing what you do best: conducting your research, presenting at conferences, and publishing papers. Please contact IURTC prior to any public disclosure of new subject matter to give us an opportunity to assess its impact on the intellectual property.  Afterward, simply forward any inquiries you receive from industry to IURTC.

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Bill Brizzard is director of technology commercialization for the Bloomington campus for the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. IURTC helps researchers across all campuses in the IU system bring promising research and innovations to market. You can contact Bill at, 812-855-3597.

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