Industry Relations and Technology Transfer

Innovation Realized

Developing a new product or service based on early-stage academic research discoveries requires a significant investment of time and money, as well as expertise in product development, regulatory approval, marketing and sales. Because this work typically falls outside the scope of research institutions, collaboration with industry partners can help achieve the investments necessary to bring a new technology to market.

A variety of technologies may be transferred for commercialization, including: diagnostics, research tools and reagents, therapeutics, vaccines, devices and new uses or improvements to existing technologies.

Our Technology Transfer Process


During the course of research at Fred Hutch, discoveries with commercial application may be made. Our mission is to support the cycle of innovation and maximize the public impact of your discovery. 

Submitting an Invention Disclosure Form is an important first step in the process of documenting your invention and disclosing your new idea. Each inventor is assigned a licensing associate from IRTTO who serves as the main point of contact throughout the tech transfer process.

Our office evaluates a variety of factors – from patentability to commercial potential and possible partners – in determining how best to translate your discovery. We work closely with you during this evaluation process to best assess your technology’s commercial potential and keep you informed.

Intellectual Property Protection
When appropriate, our office will pursue patent or other intellectual property protection of your discovery.  Our licensing associate will work with investigators and outside patent attorneys to draft and file a patent application.

IRTTO identifies opportunities and markets technologies to companies and other potential commercial partners. These partners have the expertise to translate discoveries into new products and services with the goal of improving public health.

Upon identification of a suitable licensee, a license agreement is prepared to grant a company the right to develop and commercialize an invention owned by the Center. Inventions may be licensed to an existing company or as part of the process of forming a new company. 

Product Development
Companies invest significant resources to translate Center innovation into a useful product or service.

Public Use and Financial Returns
The company ensures the fully developed product reaches the public through its sales, marketing and distribution divisions. Financial returns are distributed among inventors and Fred Hutch, which reinvests funds into future research.

Inventor's Role in Technology Transfer

Our inventors play a key role in the technology transfer process.

  • Disclose new discoveries
  • Participate in invention evaluation and patenting processes
  • Help identify marketing opportunities and partners
  • Advise or lead new business startups
  • Work with partners to translate discoveries into products or services

Learn more about some of our successful partnerships with industry on our Success Stories page.