Where We Fit In

The new Office of Innovation and Business Development is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive business strategy that promotes innovation, supports entrepreneurship, optimizes the institution’s research portfolio, and leverages the wide array of expertise and capabilities that exist throughout our academic community. We engage with all key campus stakeholders, internally and externally, to diversify and expand business ventures, enlarge commercialization efforts, and drive new strategic partnerships. We also oversee the Office of Technology Management, which is responsible for structuring, negotiating, and implementing business transactions, as well as for protecting and fully leveraging the institution’s intellectual property portfolio.

The existing partnering infrastructure at UMMS is robust with numerous entities (or “Innovation Units”) interacting regularly with outside partners. These units are supported by excellent supportive services from our Office of Research (OOR), Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), Administration and Finance (A&F), and the like. As illustrated in the figure below, our new office functions collaboratively within this infrastructure. 

UMMS infographic

Our office carefully avoids duplicating any existing partnering functions and we will not serve in a gateway function where all partnering interactions must be routed and managed through us. However, we will add functionality and coordination where it is lacking and serve as a general catalyst within the UMMS partnering system. Specifically, we:

  1. Serve as a highly effective “Welcome Lobby” where all internal and external constituents can readily find partnering information, contacts, and help.
  2. Have the authority to modify policies, procedures, and practices that sometimes negatively impact partnering discussions.

  3.  Are working with all internal constituencies on a variety of new contract templates, policies, and procedures that meet all applicable compliance requirements and are attractive to external parties.

  4. Only intervene into individual contract/relationship processes when significant conflicts arise or when high levels of complexity, legal risk, or financial upside/downside are present (i.e. “high-impact projects”).

  5. Are building new, efficient support mechanisms for internal research and services that have partnering appeal.

  6. Are designing an enlarged, unified external business development function through extensive collaboration with other internal units.
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