Hey there, time traveller! This article was published 13/3/2012 (2174 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE University of Manitoba will have to go back to the drawing board to find someone to lead its Technology Transfer Office.
Gary Breit, executive director of the TTO since 2005, is leaving the job to take a similar position with the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.
Breit's tenure at the U of M solidified the university's standing as one of the leading Canadian universities in the field of technology transfer.
The office played an active role in the province's efforts to ramp up technology commercialization.
According to the Association of University Technology Managers in 2010, the U of M ranks eighth in Canada in licensing revenue received annually, sixth in the number of patents filed and eighth in the number of invention disclosures.
Breit, who ran technology transfer at a medical school in Texas before relocating to Winnipeg, said the time was right for a move.
"I think people can look back and say tech transfer really is working," he said. "I really believe the community is more collegial than it was."
He said during his tenure, the number of invention disclosures or new ideas the TTO received doubled to 65 a year from 30 and the number of transactions has quadrupled to 15 to 19 a year from about four to five.
The U of M averages about $2.2 million a year in royalty revenues from the licensing of intellectual property developed at the university.
There are some who criticized the operation of the TTO under Breit's direction because they said it concentrated on the licensing of technology to third-party entities rather than assisting in the development of domestic enterprises in Winnipeg to commercialize the technology here.
But it has developed a systematic method of securing patents and, in the process, generated a reliable stream of revenue from challenging scientific discoveries.
During his time in Winnipeg, Breit has helped U of M scientists license discoveries to commercial entities such as Estée Lauder and BASF, among others.
"We have maintained our revenue over the last several years and increased it slightly, continually bringing in new dollars," said Breit. "We have been consistent in revenue and in the number of invention disclosures, which is the life blood of tech transfer. What we have done is really stabilized the program."