Just as musicians get pleasure from playing in a symphony, researchers at Penn State Hershey enjoy working in an environment of regular discoveries, developments and technological advances.
But just as music doesn’t reach its full potential without an audience to hear it, the discoveries of Penn State Hershey’s faculty, students and staff benefit few if the ideas developed on campus don’t reach the marketplace.
As federal funding for research has decreased in recent years, the College of Medicine has increased its commercialization efforts through the Office of Technology Development to ensure that its most promising work reaches those it is intended to benefit. Penn State Hershey Dean and CEO Dr. Harold L. Paz, wrote in March 2012 that "Innovation in biotechnology provides the regional economy with ideas, investment and jobs that can drive economic growth and vitality."
In 2011, the College of Medicine named Keith Marmer director of an office that previously managed some contracts with licensing mostly handled by staff in State College.
“There really wasn’t the hands-on support we can now offer,” Marmer said.
Now, he leads a team that evaluates campus research and protects the intellectual property developed there. His office works to commercialize what is known as translational medicine – looking for ways to take drugs, discoveries and techniques from the lab or clinic to market.
Commercialization not only brings new treatments and cures to patients, but it can also be a key part of attracting additional industry-sponsored research. Royalties from licensing agreements create another stream of revenue that is increasingly important to support the academic and clinical research missions.