Office of Technology Transfer
The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is responsible for ARS’ technology transfer program and is delegated the authority to administer the patent and licensing program for all intramural research conducted by USDA. The OTT helps move ARS research discoveries to the marketplace.
The ARS technology transfer program has centralized policy and approval procedures that are managed by OTT. Research agreement negotiation and implementation is decentralized and managed by the ARS Area Offices. The Area Office Technology Transfer Staff serve as liaisons with scientists, ARS managers, OTT, university partners, and the private sector.
To facilitate technology transfer, OTT is organized into three sections. The Administrative and Partnership Section conducts day-to-day operations; coordinates technology transfer policy development; executes collaborative research agreements & licenses; and facilitates public-private partnerships. The Patenting Section provides strategic guidance to scientists regarding patent protection for their research results. The Section is also responsible for receiving invention reports, convening three National Patent Committees (Mechanical and Measurement, Life Sciences, and Chemistry), preparing and prosecuting patent applications, and reviewing patent legal work performed by cooperator and ARS contract law firm. The Licensing Section manages invention licensing from all the intramural scientists in every USDA agency, including the review of license applications and the negotiation and monitoring of license agreements to assure compliance with agreement terms. This Section also collects and disburses license revenues, manages international patent filings, and provides expert advice on all matters related to USDA invention licensing.