3 Underappreciated Skills of Technology Licensing Professionals

We say it often here at the Vortechs Group – technology licensing professionals wear a lot of hats – and a good one possesses a nice balance between raw intelligence and emotional intelligence. But there are also several skills that top-notch TTO employees have, that few value, but are critical to their success.


While this may sound a little Zen, the best and the brightest need to find balance between dueling stakeholders on a daily basis. There’s the university’s interests versus the company funding the project. The researcher versus the patent process is also something to manage. Many jobs require good decision making, but for technology licensing professionals they must find a balance where everyone feels good about the outcome because TTO represents a myriad of interests and maintaining relationships is critical.

Good Gut Instincts

Most departments have a commercialization process but sometimes the decision behind pursuing an opportunity is about instinct and knowing what interests the market. A stellar tech transfer professional has a nose for success and is willing to support projects they know exhibit potential.

Talk and Translate Science

A tech transfer professional is also a translator. Researchers are mired in their day-to-day exploration and problem solving. They are brilliant but limited in their way to convey their scientific ideas in market-friendly terms. TTO employees must understand the basics of the technology and present it to groups that don’t speak “Science.” Tech transfer professionals must also listen to the non-science investors and communicate their concerns to the science-based researchers. Tech transfer is a bridge and it’s up to the employee to build it regardless of the external pressures and conditions.

Working with a tech transfer recruiter will make your job in finding the perfect candidate for your department much easier. There’s a lot of assessment involved outside of basic skills. Working with a technical recruiter means they’re able to recognize these subtle skills from the moment you sign the contract. There’s no wait time to get them ramped up or understanding of how tech transfer works. They already know.

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