A newly created office has been tasked with encouraging, developing, protecting and commercializing technological advances and other intellectual property at Cal Poly Pomona.
The Technology Transfer/Industry Clinic Office will develop patents and licensing agreements, as well as help train students in solving real-life problems encountered by business and industry partners.
Marie Talnack, a longtime veteran of programs that encourage innovation in small businesses, has been named director of the new office.
“One of the things that really appealed to me is the opportunity to start something from scratch,” Talnack says. “I am very excited about this opportunity. I think that the time is right for the university to do this.”
One of Talnack’s specialties is technology transfer — finding commercial markets for ideas and inventions developed at a university or research institution. Technology transfer is a very technical field, heavy on legalese, Talnack says. One of her mentors once described it this way:
“It’s a human process where one person transfers what they learned to another person and hopes they build on it.”
Frank Ewers, Cal Poly Pomona’s associate vice president for research, says Talnack has “written the book” on technology transfer at universities.
Talnack received her doctorate in policy and planning from the University of Southern California in 2010, and she has extensive experience working with federal programs that provide seed money to start-up companies. She has worked with 12 Small Business Development Centers in California, as well as the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
She has also worked at the University of Southern California, the University of North Carolina, the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with her unique blend of expertise, experience and connections to launch this initiative,” Provost Marten denBoer says.
Talnack’s appointment will begin on May 31.