If you’ve been to college, you’ll know that although colleges are ostensibly places where students get an education, the teaching staff do not spend a majority of their day teaching. What, exactly, you might wonder, do college professors do all day?

Well, one thing they do is research. And sometimes that research can turn into more than just an article in an academic journal. Many universities now have a department called Technology Transfer. Folks in the Technology Transfer department take the ideas that professors and researchers have, and turn these ideas into commercial products.

For example, the Office of Technology Transfer at Tulane University has commercialized a diagnostic test for Lyme disease, an obstetric device that cuts and clamps the umbilical cord, and a mosquito trap. Among many others.

Tulane University's Tech Transfer mastermind, John Christie

Tulane University’s Tech Transfer mastermind, John Christie

The Executive Director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Development at Tulane University is John Christie.

There’s an even more specialized approach to technology transfer at LSU, where it is broken into smaller divisions. In Baton Rouge, LSU has a big, and very successful, tech transfer department. Here in New Orleans, the LSU Health Services Center has its own department dedicated to technology transfer.

the LSU Health Services Center Office of Technology Transfer Management commercializes research that comes out of the medical school, as well as the departments of nursing, public health and dentistry.

LSU Health Sceinces Tech Transfer expert, Patrick Reed

LSU Health Sceinces Tech Transfer expert, Patrick Reed

The Director of the LSU Health Services Center Office of Technology Transfer Management is Patrick Reed.

If each one of us listening to this conversation had a dollar for every great idea we’ve had – we’d probably each have about ten bucks. It’s one thing to think you’ve got a great idea. It’s another thing to actually have a great idea. But it’s something of a whole other magnitude to turn an idea into an invention that makes money.

Peter Ricchiuti, in the Wine Room at Commander's Palace

Peter Ricchiuti, in the Wine Room at Commander’s Palace

Photos from this show at Commander’s Palace by Jill Lafleur. You can find more brilliant ideas at The Idea Village.

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