UF Innovate | Pathways

lecturer in front of a crowded auditorium

Educational Opportunities for Faculty, Staff, Students 

Learn how innovative ideas are commercialized and brought to market through a variety of educational programs addressing the steps along the commercialization continuum. Pathways intends to provide an exhaustive list of educational sources and events for UF faculty, staff, and students interested in the commercialization process.

Intellectual Property & Technology Licensing

Have a new idea or just curious about technology licensing? UF Innovate has collaborated with AUTM the leading organization supporting academic technology transfer to bring you over 200 hours of technology transfer webinars addressing technology evaluation, protection, marketing, licensing, and more.

Hundreds of Hours of Webinars Available Here

AUTM has created a portal for the UF campus community, University of Florida Education Portal. You can log in to this portal anytime and watch these webinars on-demand at your convenience on a UF network.

Some of the topics included in this vast webinar library:

Patenting 101

This webinar will address the fundamentals of how to use the patent system to commercialize innovation. We will start with the history and policy behind the patent system. We will then discuss the process and requirements for obtaining a patent, which are important to know when evaluating the viability of invention disclosures. Further, we will address strategies for managing a portfolio of pending and granted patents, and for monetizing the portfolio. Finally, we will end with a question and answer section.

US Patent Application Process From Start to Finish

Join us to learn or enhance your understanding of the U.S. patent application process from start to finish. The patent process requires a high-level skill set and a wide knowledge. These sessions will provide an overview of the process and terminology of patent preparation, prosecution, issuance, maintenance, and enforcement. Beginning with an invention disclosure, we will discuss patent searching, application drafting, timing and formal requirements for filing an application, dealing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), patent issuance or abandonment, patent families, maintaining an issued patent in force, and how patents are used-and enforced if necessary-to support commerce.

Jointly Owned IP

This webinar will address those circumstances under which joint ownership of intellectual property typically arises between universities, the effect of this joint ownership, and the structure and terms of joint ownership agreements.

Design Patent Tips and Tricks: Where to Start

In this session, we will cover design patents, including the parts of an application, when and how to file (both U.S. and International), combining with other intellectual property to create a portfolio, and stories from the trenches. This will be useful for those who have never filed a design patent, or who have filed one and aren’t sure what to do with it. The panel will be geared toward introductory education but will help participants at every level.

Inventorship: Let’s Help Each Other

This is an audio-only, downloadable recording of the webinar described below.

It can be frustrating when your researchers don’t understand inventorship. It’s different from authorship, but what does that mean? How can I be an author and not an inventor? What sort of documentation do I need to support my claims? The questions can be endless and time consuming. A panel of attorneys and tech transfer experts will help those new to the profession find answers, and provide an opportunity for more seasoned professionals to share their favorite (or most hair-raising) stories.

Anatomy of a License

Whether you are involved in license maintenance, finance, or patent administration, you need to understand license agreements to effectively do your job. This session will include an introduction to license agreements by describing the various sections of a typical license agreement and providing an explanation of the importance of the various terms. A discussion of the differences between license agreements for patent rights, copyright/software, and trademark will be included.

IP Basics for Software Innovations

This free webinar will provide an introduction to the fundamentals of intellectual property that can be applied to software innovations. The course includes an overview of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Some basic computing and software terms will also be discussed.

Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is employed in everything from computer-generated imagery (CGI) to medical diagnoses to 3D printing. However, laws have not kept up with AI innovations. The patent laws of most countries (including the U.S.) define an “inventor” as a person, i.e., a human being.

For example, what if a synthetic entity (AI) assists an inventor or author to invent or create – or what if the synthetic entity independently creates – a painting or literature, discovers a medical breakthrough, or produces a 3D article extrapolated from rudimentary data input? Isn’t the AI an inventor or author? Can the AI itself be protected by patents or copyright? How can AI be used as a supporting tool by inventors and patent attorneys? What are the ethical and professional responsibility implications of employing AI? This presentation will define AI and examine questions that will help suggest best practices for using AI and protecting AI-related intellectual property.

Choosing the Right Open Source License for Your Software

Technology transfer offices are seeing more and more software disclosures. Software developed in research organizations often includes components downloaded from the Internet that include their own license terms and obligations. Meanwhile, researchers often want to release their software under an open-source license while pursuing their commercialization interests. How does a licensing professional navigate the multitude of available open-source licenses to select the appropriate license? What are the implications of releasing software with an MIT license versus Apache? Will the release of software under an open-source license impact its patent filing? Is it possible to build a successful start-up using software released under an open-source license? These are just some of the questions we’ll tackle.

Strategies and Programs for De-Risking Medical Device Commercialization

Bringing a new medical device to market can be an expensive and time-consuming process fraught with risk. This webinar will provide you with a better understanding of the process and challenges of commercializing medical device technologies. We will address, among other topics, the general regulatory processes, market risks, and technology risks.

AI and Precision Medicine: IP and Licensing Opportunities

Increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) is being applied in the medical field. From disease-specific diagnostics to patient-precise surgery and therapeutics, the AI architecture employs analytical software and patient-based training data. In this session, we’ll discuss how universities, especially those affiliated with a medical school or research hospital, may be uniquely suited to license training data separately from analytical software. Collaborating universities and affiliates may pool their training data, resulting in a data collection that is in high demand by industry and new licensing opportunities.

Products of Nature

Post-Ariosa, the district courts and the Federal Circuit have increasingly used this decision to justify the application of the Mayo/Alice rule to deny the patentability of claims directed to diagnostic methods and products of nature. Apart from the CellzDirect decision, which was characterized as a new method of making freeze/thaw resistant cells, the Court has been resistant to allowing diagnostic claims that arise from the discovery of naturally occurring correlations. In Meriel, and in Cleveland Clinic, the diagnostic conclusions were dismissed as being no more than natural phenomena, detected and evaluated using “routine steps.”

The court has reiterated that the “inventive concept” required by the Mayo/Alice Rule cannot be provided by recognition of the importance of a natural correlation, even while recognizing that the rule renders many important advances in diagnostic medicine patent-ineligible. At least one district court has held that claims to unit dosage forms of naturally occurring compounds, such as vitamins, are patent-ineligible attempts to claim natural products. While the Patent Office continues to allow method of treatment claims, it may not be long before the Federal Circuit takes another look at Myriad and bans these claims as well.

Drug Repurposing from a University Perspective

The repurposing of therapies for alternative disease indications is an attractive approach that can save significant investments of time and money during drug development. It can also generate highly marketable technologies for the savvy university. Repurposed drugs are generally approved faster, are awarded market approval at a rate three times higher than new drug applications, and at half the cost associated with new drug applications. Academic researchers have successfully begun integrating repurposing into their grant applications from both federal and private donors. In this webinar, we will discuss these themes as well as what, from a university perspective, can lead to a successful program in licensing repurposed drug assets. Particular emphasis will be placed on how to develop strong patent strategies for repurposed drug assets.

How Can I Make the Most of Funding and Resources from the NCI

Thinking about starting a small business to develop your technology as a university spinout? Looking for resources to support your new startup? Wondering how to use your research skills as a springboard to entrepreneurship? Then this webinar is for you! Come hear the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Program Director Monique Pond discuss the resources available at NCI for academic entrepreneurs. In FY 2020, the NCI Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center provided approximately $179 million in funding to U.S. small businesses through the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The Center provides non-funding support as well, including entrepreneurial training programs such as I-Corps at NIH and programs to facilitate connections between innovators and potential investors. You’ll also hear first-hand from someone who has done it. The co-founder of Grannus, a University of Notre Dame biotechnology spinoff, will discuss his experience as a postdoc developing an anti-cancer therapeutic and translating it towards the clinic, with support from the NCI SBIR Development Center. Whether a technology is in the pre-clinical or clinical stage of development, NCI can help translate innovative research ideas to the marketplace. Come learn how NCI helps small businesses cross the “Valley of Death” and reach commercialization.

The ABC’s of the NSF I Corps Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. Through I-Corps, NSF grantees learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research and gain skills in entrepreneurship through training in customer discovery and guidance from established entrepreneurs. In this webinar, we’ll explore how universities can join the National Innovation Network by becoming I-Corps Sites or Nodes, and how academic researchers can take advantage of the $50,000 I-Corps Teams grant and training program.

Building a Career in Technology Transfer

There is growing interest among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in technology transfer careers. However, transitioning into this field can be challenging. This free webinar will discuss the various roles within a technology transfer office, the skills required and strategies to transition into, and develop, a career in technology transfer. Seasoned tech transfer panelists will share their experiences in the field, the challenges they faced, and suggestions for building a successful career. In addition, the session will cover the skills and qualifications that an early-stage technology transfer professional should develop to successfully progress, such as CLP and RTTP certifications.

Insights into Plant Variety Protection and Variety

Join this webinar and learn the fundamentals of U.S. intellectual property protection for plants by comparing and contrasting plant variety protection (PVP), versus utility patents and the main criteria for obtaining PVP. The second component discussed will be the aspects of licensing PVP varieties, looking into both the licensor and licensee responsibilities and obligations.

University Plant Commercial: IP, Deals and the USDA

The target audience for this webinar is:

  • Anyone new to plant-related technology transfer
  • Administrative and support staff who work with plant-related cases
  • Experienced plant tech transfer professionals who would like a refresher course
  • Plant breeders and plant geneticists from your university who could use a tutorial
  • Other members of a tech transfer team who would like to have a general appreciation of what their plant-specialist co-workers do

This practical webinar covers:

  • The basics of plant patents, plant-related utility patents, plant variety protection, and foreign plant breeder’s rights, including deposits and export of plants for DUS testing. Trademark issues will also be discussed.
  • The basics of plant licensing, including choice of contract, how to identify milestones (annual minimum royalties, etc.), and how to overcome points of difference.
  • Metrics for plant-related commercialization, and how to talk to stakeholders regarding the importance of plant-related commercialization to their constituents.

How to work with the USDA as co-applicant, including CRADA basics and plant-specific issues. You will learn about:

  • Legal framework for approaching plant IP protection
  • Decision points for choice of legal protection for plants
  • Types of licensing approaches used in plants
  • Decision points for choosing a licensing approach
  • Suggestions and resources for working with the USDA

Commercialization Training Through I-Corps

Learn how to determine the commercial viability of your innovation and develop a commercialization strategy by enrolling in I Corps training.

Does Your Innovation Have a Path Forward?

I Corps will help you answer questions such as:

  • Does your innovation solve a need in the market?
  • Who are the customers?
  • What is the value proposition and benefit to the customer?
  • Who will pay for it and what is the revenue model for your product?

As seen in the figure below, I Corps enables you to determine the Product-Market fit and define a path forward for commercialization. If you are interested in enrolling in this innovation and commercialization-training program, please email us so we can direct you to the appropriate opportunities: ufinnovatepathways@research.ufl.edu

(Source: NSF Innovation Corps I-Corps Biannual Report 2021)

Upcoming I-Corps events:

All programs are open to participants from UF.


No Events

SBIR/STTR Training & Grant Writing

Ready to move forward and launch a startup? Inform your licensing officer of your interest in a startup. Then learn about SBIR/STTR grants that you can apply for, to seek non-dilutive sources of funding available through the Small Business Administration.

Learn About Upcoming SBIR/STTR Webinars

Contact ufinnovatepathways@research.ufl.edu if you would like to learn more about SBIR /STTR grants and sign up for upcoming webinars.

Upcoming SBIR/STTR Workshops:


06dec12:00 pm2:00 pmDepartment of Education SBIR/STTR Program OverviewLearn how to lay the groundwork for your ED SBIR/STTR proposal

09dec12:00 pm1:30 pmABCs of the SBIR/STTR ProgramsFind out how these two programs can provide a source of R&D funding

15dec10:00 am3:30 pmDOD Proposal DevelopmentGet detailed instruction on preparing a proposal to meet the requirements of the DOD

Startup Licensing & Fundraising

Launched the start-up and running the company? Learn the skills needed to build and grow your company. Talk to a VC and access the OUP portal for researchers.UF is a member of OUP a leading venture capital firm that invests in academic start-ups. OUP’s life science and tech team members hold office hours with start-up founders, graduate students/postdocs, and faculty who are interested in commercializing their work.

Research Portal to Licensing, Funding, and More

Please contact your licensing officer to discuss your startup idea first* and then get VC feedback on your startup idea by scheduling a time to speak to the OUP team. https://portal.oup.vc/page/office_hours

Further, you can visit the OUP RESEARCHER PORTAL and learn more about Venture capital, founder’s equity, start-up licensing, product-market fit, pitching, and more at https://portal.oup.vc

Some webinars are also posted on the OUP YouTube channel.

The next live OUP Webinar is:


No Events

Pitching Your Idea

Whether you’re pitching for investment or research sponsorship, you want to make the most of your moment in the spotlight.

Perfect Your Pitch

Eventually, information will appear here that will help you!

Programs to Encourage Diversity in Entrepreneurship

The Collaboratory for Inclusive Entrepreneurship has a number of programs intended to make entrepreneurship and supportive opportunities available no matter race, sex, or anything else.

Helpful Websites & Articles

Check back from time to time to explore websites and articles particularly good at explaining protecting and commercializing technology.

Websites & Articles

Understand the basics of patenting and gain practical advice on protecting the research you are seeking to commercialize.

USPTO website
Access USPTO inventor and entrepreneur resources.

Hopkins Biotech Podcast
Explore careers in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, consulting, venture capital, and other private sector industries.

UF Innovate Business Library
The UF Business Library has a section just for UF Innovate. Get access to the tools you need right here.

Small Business Association Learning Center
Plan, launch, manage, market, and grow your company after learning the ropes from the SBA.

Successful by Association?

Yes, you may find that associating with like-minded people as you pursue knowledge and opportunities makes you more successful. These organizations provide you with a wealth of information, a network of experiences, and innovative suggestions for the problems you seek to fix.

List of Recommended Associations

AUTM https://autm.net/

Licensing Executives Society – https://www.lesusacanada.org/

National Venture Capital Association https://nvca.org/

Venture Well https://venturewell.org/

Angel Capital Association https://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/

Florida Venture Forum https://flventure.org/

Take Courses Through UF Colleges

A number of colleges at the university offer programs in innovation and entrepreneurship. They may require you to meet admission requirements and pay for courses, but if you want a deep dive into their unique slant, take a look at these options.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Courses at UF Colleges ($$)

Law School

Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Courses




Other Specializations




Health Law


College of Engineering

Courses and Certificates




Warrington College of Business

Entrepreneurship Courses and Certificate Programs





College of Medicine

Medical College Council – Business and Entrepreneurship in Medicine


UF Innovation Academy

Minor in Innovation


College of Arts

Center for Arts Migration and Entrepreneurship


Music Entrepreneurship


College of Health and Human Performance

LEI 3843: Entrepreneurship in Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management – MWF (Almeyda-Zambrano)

UF Online