Stories of Discovery
HHS Technologies in the Development of Healthcare Products
The NIH technology transfer function moves medical innovation from the benchtop through additional research and development, testing, regulatory approval, manufacturing, and finally to distribution as a medical product which will improve the health of everyone Technology transfer at the NIH is a process which transfers medical knowledge from NIH laboratories to other organizations for the purpose of developing that knowledge into medical products to enhance the public health. In the course of their research, NIH scientists often make important medical discoveries. These NIH scientists disclose their discoveries to NIH technology transfer specialists who decide if patenting is appropriate, and when a patent is sought, begin to seek appropriate development and commercialization partners and licensees. Inventions developed in the NIH’s laboratories are owned by the NIH and are patented as appropriate.
Effectively measuring the public health outcomes that result from such technologies is challenging and complex. Traditionally, efforts to measure the effect of technology transfer activities focus on outputs, such as the number of patents and licenses or the amount of royalties generated. However, this approach does not depict the full scope of activities and may, in fact, distort the importance of ensuring that novel biomedical inventions are commercialized.
Therefore, OTT has created some stories of discovery that describe the translation of HIHS research into products that meet the mission of improving public health.