Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 04, 2013

Brown University Steps Up Healthcare Intellectual Property Marketing

Brown University's Technology Ventures Office (TVO) in Rhode Island has announced a partnership with the Lifespan hospital network and an expansion of an existing partnership with Care New England, which will help both institutions to market new research discoveries.

The TVO will start by focusing on orthopedics, gastroenterology and liver research. According to Peter Snyder, professor of neurology at Brown and VP of research for Lifespan, the TVO plans to commercialize three to four of Lifespan's new patents annually over the next few years.

The TVO has a history of working with Care New England's Women and Infant's Hospital, but it will expand its reach to manage patents for both Kent Hospital and Butler Hospital in Warwick and Providence, respectively.

According to Snyder, researchers are "not necessarily interested in turning into business people." While Lifespan does a good job of recognizing and patenting good ideas, he explained, marketing was handled internally and remained a constant challenge.

Having Care New England and Lifespan under one roof for patent management means Brown's TVO can search for opportunities in a more efficient manner. The TVO does not plan to add new healthcare partners in the next couple of years, as it works to expand its services and assess the success of these current collaborations.

TVO works primarily to market inventions created through research at Brown, many of whose faculty work for Lifespan and Care New England hospitals, making the marketing ventures a natural outgrowth of the office's mission.

According to its website, the TVO identifies sources for intellectual property, plans commercialization strategies, finds appropriate partners and negotiates both commercialization and licensing agreements.

"Providence's collectively growing biomedical enterprise has a lot to offer the world, and Brown has the expert staff and relationships to help connect our state’s scientists with the opportunities their ingenuity creates," said Brown Provost Dr. Mark Schlissel.

"We are pleased to work with Lifespan and Care New England to bring new discoveries to the marketplace where they can help patients in need."

Edited by Braden Becker

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