Bridging the gap between university-based research and successful commercialization can be one of the more challenging aspects of technology transfer. Often times the basic research being conducted by academic and research faculty members is highly theoretical and deals with fundamentals of basic science and engineering. While it often requires significant resources and time to derive a meaningful scientific research discovery, it can also be costly and time-consuming to translate this discovery into the marketplace.
The Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) benefits from being part of the greater Georgia Tech community, affording us access to world-class researchers and students across the entire campus and spectrum of disciplines. In addition, the program’s research faculty represents a wide array of academic backgrounds, which allows us to have a truly interdisciplinary focus. ATRP is organizationally housed within the Georgia Tech Research Institute, which is the applied research arm of Georgia Tech. As such, our mandate is to conduct applied research that brings to bear a broad spectrum of discoveries and new technologies to solve real-world problems.
Our industry stakeholders play a critical role in identifying these real-world problems, as we rely on their input to describe both the near-term and long-term critical needs within the industry. We then define the research activities in the program to address these needs by seeking technology-based solutions that provide tangible and useful outcomes. ATRP’s vision is to be the technology innovation and development provider that spawns a variety of technologies that can become viable products and solutions in the marketplace. As a result, we try to identify and select potential commercialization partners for the technology as early as possible in the development process. This provides them with an opportunity to become part of the development team and provide input on the technology design and functionality. We also engage end users throughout the development process, as their input and feedback is critical in developing the specifications for and maximizing the benefits of the new technology.
Over time, we have come to recognize that this three-way partnership between the ATRP team, the commercialization companies, and the eventual end users is essential for effective technology transfer. Having this early and consistent three-way engagement leads to much more successful research outcomes, and it provides a much smoother transition of the technology to the eventual commercial partners and commercial marketplace. So, we invite you to join us and become a technology transfer partner with the Agricultural Tech Research Program, as together we seek to develop technology solutions for the industry’s challenges.
To learn more about working with ATRP and the greater Georgia Tech research community, read the article, “Georgia Tech’s Contract Continuum Streamlines University-Industry Collaborations.”