Technology transfer is the process of sharing proprietary knowledge and creations of the university with other organizations for the purpose of further understanding, development, use and commercialization for the benefit of the university and society. Since the knowledge and creations are unique, novel and proprietary, this sharing is best captured in agreements between the organizations.
Intellectual property (IP) protections enable technology transfer by protecting a partners ability to commercially develop the technology.
The Bayh-Dole Act established technology transfer activities for IP created under federally funded research programs. Under the Act, NIU is the owner of IP created with federal funding and the university is responsible for the management of inventions. In return, the Federal government retains certain IP rights.