The Future of TTO Staffing: “Core” vs “Contract”

Technology transfer offices of the future must evolve to compete and excel in the midst of trends and drivers that are affecting university commercialization programs. Operations that effectively integrate creative talent solutions to supplement core office functions and employees will be in a better position to succeed; however, we understand that this is easier said than done.

It is often quicker to assign tasks to existing staff than to locate and leverage the right external skill sets; but, this approach often spreads operations too thin, wastes time/resources, and detracts from real priorities. As an example, according to the tech transfer office of today from AUTM (as illustrated in our recent forecasting exercise), we believe that at least 30% of the current staff time breakdown could be better serviced by a talented source of contract workers.

With contract workers tech transfer offices of the future can:

  • Reallocate staff time to core function/expand staff in those areas
  • Save on time/resources, by leveraging a group with unique, specific skill sets/extensive knowledge for your need area
  • Limit administrative challenges and budget constraints through flexible, short-term, and task-specific contracts

We have outlined components of specific expertise areas that may be better addressed through contract relationships versus full-time core employees, below:


  Core Contract
  Confidential-level, focused on execution of programs/initiatives/relationships that move technologies from the lab to the marketplace

(Confidential, focused execution, day-day)

Upfront work on processes, initiatives, and systems. Leverage marketing capability and existing relationships to expand message and commercial/investment network

(New programs/process, network expansion, short-term/periodic)

Program Development -Licensing and Start-ups (evaluation, development, commercialization) -Tech transfer process and program engineering
-Office systems development
-Portfolio review/auditing
-New initiative benchmarking/development
Marketing -Campaign process management and scheduling
-Managing access and availability of marketing materials
-Campus point for day-day internal communication, events, etc.
-Ownership of brand and messaging
-Strategic marketing planning
-Development of technology marketing materials
-Social media development/image management
Relationship-Building -Management and development of existing/new relationships
-Partner/”Sales” process management
-Development of internal programs for students and faculty
-Expanding corporate and investor networks


To support this evolution and opportunity, The Vortechs Group is launching a first-of-its-kind expert consultant network dedicated to fulfilling these tasks for your technology transfer operation.

This network of 1,000 expert technology transfer consultants was assembled to assist your operation in tasks that are often better serviced and more cost-competitive under external consulting arrangements. Based on your specific needs, we will create a customized team of experts to support you in expertise areas described above.

In the coming weeks we will survey this community of technology transfer leaders to identify expertise areas important to your operation. We will also identify where there might be opportunities to leverage contracting expertise, and how we might align our experts with those need areas.

Until then, please check out our expert technology transfer consultants page here and provide feedback.

Also if you are interested in becoming part of the expert network, or want to look into how our network can help you office today, pleace contact me directly at


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