Research Tools: Distributing Resources to Spur Scientific Progress

Hand using a pipette in a lab setting to drop liquid into a well plate

Seeking out answers to research questions often requires an intermediary step. Researchers must sometimes isolate a particular antibody, create a cell line, or develop an animal model with certain traits to move forward with their work.

Experts at University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization recognize that the usefulness of these and other tools—often the products of ample time and effort in the lab—doesn’t have to stop when the research project that conceived them comes to an end. The office’s Research Tools program preserves and shares these valuable assets by matching them up with companies that can use them in their work as well as vendors will distribute them to researchers in both academic and industry settings.

Naomi Walsh, PhD, technology licensing officer and Research Tools manager, said the program was designed to offer a slightly different pathway to commercialization. Instead of dealing with full-fledged inventions—what could be considered the “end results” of research—the program focuses on the resources created along the way.

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