What We Do
The Salk Institute's Office of Technology Development (OTD) is responsible for managing the intellectual property of the Salk Institute.
At the OTD, our mission is to enable our researchers to realize the commercial potential of their ideas. Our goal is to develop and support relationships with industry partners who can help turn scientific progress in the lab into tangible products for the benefit of patients and society at large, while returning income to the inventor and to the Institute to support further research.
The OTD maintains close relationships with Salk faculty, scientific staff and students. We evaluate inventions created by these researchers for their commercial possibilities, and when possible we engage with potential industry partners to help develop those technologies. This engagement can result in licensing of intellectual property or collaboration with a partner. If inventions are successfully licensed, cash royalties collected by the OTD provide funding to the inventors' departments and schools, as well as personal shares for the inventors themselves.
We typically begin the licensing process by reviewing an invention with the inventors to learn about potential applications. We then develop a licensing strategy, consider the technical and market risks, and decide whether to patent the invention. Together with the inventors, we try to find companies that might be interested in the invention and seek a product champion within a company before negotiating a license agreement.
Although patentable inventions are the focus of the majority of the OTD's licensing activities, we also handle copyrights for software, tangible materials disclosures for biological materials (antibodies, cell lines, etc.), and material transfer agreements for outgoing biological materials.