UofM committed to reducing research innovation barriers during COVID-19 pandemic 

April 23, 2020  – The University of Memphis has endorsed and committed to the COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines recently released by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the global association of technology transfer professionals.  

 The new principles provide global guidance for tech transfer offices, focusing on research intended to develop technologies, treatments and solutions needed during the current pandemic. These recommendations are meant to reduce barriers so researchers and their respective institutions are able to deliver innovations in a timely manner for immediate impact.

 More than 50 institutions worldwide, as well as the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, have already signed the guidelines published on April 15. See full list here. These guidelines include:

 AUTM COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines 

1. Technology transfer accelerates innovations that impact society and promotes the broad distribution of public health solutions. We encourage intellectual property (IP) owners to adopt a COVID-19 licensing strategy that facilitates rapid pandemic response by licensees and to make the execution of associated transactions a top priority.

2. For most technologies, where legally possible, this strategy is best accomplished by adopting time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licenses, in exchange for the licensees’ commitment to rapidly make and broadly distribute products and services to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain COVID-19 and protect healthcare workers during the pandemic (as defined by the World Health Organization).

3. Licenses may subsequently convert to a more typical commercial license as appropriate. Licenses must also preserve the licensor’s freedom to publish and use the intellectual property for teaching and research.

“Our Office of Technology Transfer is responsible for transferring scientific findings from the University to industry for further development of useful commercial applications,” said Dr. Hai Trieu, director of the Office of Technology Transfer. “I could not think of a better time for us to contribute to society in urgent need of clinical solutions that help solve not only the ongoing health crisis, but also the economic hardship associated with COVID-19.”  

For more information on technology transfer and commercialization efforts at the UofM, contact Trieu at hhtrieu@memphis.edu.


Mary Ann Dawson l mdawson@memphis.edu l 901.678.1596