Don’t give up, network and pay attention to detail, numbered among the many good ideas offered to women inventors by Judith Sheft, assistant vice president, technology development at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Sheft, a resident of Westfield, spoke at a day-long conference held October 28, 2005 at Kean University, Union.
“The metropolitan region, abundant in university research and technological industries, is a hotbed for the commercialization of new technologies,” Sheft said. “This conference highlighted advancements in acquisition and transfer of technology locally and across the globe.” Sheft’s talk focused on women in science, technology and commercialization.
“The first thing is don’t give up,” Sheft advised her audience. “The commercialization of university research is not a linear path, but involves multiple interactions between research and industry.”
Do network with other people. “Commercialization and licensing are both networking and/or contact-driven activities,” she said. “People need to interact with each other to learn about possible problems and solutions.”
See on-going relationships as a key to success. “Technology commercialization is not a one-time interaction,” said Sheft. “Rather technology commercialization requires developing a partnership to be successful. Flexibility is also an important ingredient.”
Stick with facts, not fiction. “Women have been successful as both scientists and in the field of technology commercialization,” she said. “Know the role of women in technology.” She noted that women have headed the Association of University Tech Transfer Managers and the Licensing Executive Society of the U.S. In New Jersey, women have headed the Economic Development Authority, the NJ Commission on Science and Technology and key industry groups such as New Jersey Technology Council and the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey.
Remember that attention to detail always matters, along with an ability to see possibilities, said Sheft.
The conference focused on technology transfer. Sponsors included the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commissions, New Jersey-Israel Commission, the New Jersey Biotechnology Council, the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology and the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Network.