Commercialize an Innovation

Every day something new is created at Cornell. And when inventions and innovations are ready to be introduced to the world, Cornell is there to support the researchers who created them.

Key Concepts

  • Invention Disclosure. All inventions made by faculty, staff, and students must be disclosed to the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL). When you disclose the invention to CTL, a licensing professional will be assigned to manage the invention and will be in contact with you shortly.
  • Patenting Inventions. If you are interested in patenting your invention, please contact CTL prior to publicly disclosing new ideas or research results. To ensure eligibility for U.S. patent rights covering an invention, a patent application must be filed within one year of public disclosure. To maintain patent rights in the rest of the world, a patent application must be filed prior to public disclosure anywhere in the world.
  • Marketing Inventions. If you and your licensing officer agree there is market potential for your invention, CTL will begin to market your invention to license to industry. To reach industry partners, CTL generates non-confidential marketing materials and a list of target companies.
  • Material Transfer Agreements (MTA). Tangible research materials (TRMs) refers to tangible items produced during the course of academic activities. CTL is your resource for outgoing MTAs which govern the transfer of TRMs from Cornell to outside researchers. When Ithaca-based investigators want to obtain TRMs for their research from outside Cornell, they should contact the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Weill Cornell Medicine investigators should contact the Office of Sponsored Research Administration (OSRA).

Tools & Programs

  • Available Technologies. Listing of Cornell technologies currently available for licensing.   
  • GateWay to Partnership. To meet the needs of industry sponsors, the Gateway to Partnership program offers three options to enable companies to manage their investments with the certainty of access to project intellectual property. 
  • FastTrack Startup License. For new ventures based on Cornell technologies in the fields of engineering and physical sciences, the FastTrack Startup License is an experimental approach to licensing startups, designed to enhance our pro-startup ecosystem at Cornell, and increase the transparency and speed of the licensing process.
  • Cornell Technology Acceleration and Maturation (CTAM) Fund. The CTAM Fund provides critical funding to bridge the translation gap and mature technologies to reach the next inflection points for commercialization and venture creation.

Best Practices

  • Understand the Cornell University policies around intellectual property. Cornell University Policy 1.5 provides details about inventions and related property rights, and Policy 4.15 provides details about copyright.
  • If you are interested in licensing technologies developed through your Cornell work, there may be conflict of interest considerations to address. Contact the COI office early in the licensing process.