Economics student honored for technology transfer paper

Annabelle Berklund, a Colorado State University doctoral student, recently won a runner-up prize by the Association of University Technology Managers for a paper she wrote for one of the organization’s competitions.  This is the first time a CSU student has been recognized.

Berklund, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics, was named one of the top three winners for AUTM’s Academic Technology Transfer and Commercialization Graduate Student Literature Review Prize, which recognizes the importance of research for informing technology transfer practice. This competitive prize was awarded based on selection by a 10-memAnnabelle Berklundber committee of internationally recognized experts in technology transfer, intellectual property law, intellectual property and research policy.

After submitting an abstract of her literature review, Berklund was selected as a finalist and asked to submit her full review. The final review process named Berklund a semifinalist and invited her to present the literature review at the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans in February. Berklund was recognized at AUTM’s annual meeting last month in which 1,900-plus technology transfer professionals participated.

Berklund’s paper, “The Tragedy of Under-Innovation: Intellectual Property Rights and the Anticommons,” is a literature review of patent friction and the impacts of patent rights on cumulative innovations, such as those in biotechnology particularly biofuels.

In certain fields such as biotechnology, relationships between IP and anticommons are particularly great while in other fields such as pharmaceuticals, strong intellectual property is ever more important.  Some companies like Tesla and Toyota are using intellectual property in very interesting ways, which Berklund discusses in her paper.

Berklund gained hands-on knowledge of challenges facing technology transfer professionals by serving as an ambassador for CSU Ventures, Inc., the technology transfer and commercialization agency for the University.

“This opportunity was made possible by CSU Ventures, who informed me of the contest, but my winning also depended heavily on the hands-on experience I’ve gained working for Ventures,” Berklund said. “Through the Ambassador Program, I gained first-hand technology transfer experience, which helped me tailor my literature review for the AUTM judges and incorporate real-world examples of challenges facing technology transfer professionals.”

Helping students gain experience in the technology transfer field is one of the role of CSU Ventures, said Denny Otsuga, the organization’s vice president.

“In addition to our main role to manage the intellectual properties developed at CSU, we try to maximize benefits to CSU in many other ways.  Generating royalty revenue, creating startup companies and new jobs resulting from them are some of the standard metrics and just as important is our role to provide educational opportunities to CSU students, which is in alignment with CSU’s role and mission,” Otsuga said. “In this case, we are very happy to see the learning opportunities we were able to provide to Annabelle has been recognized in a tangible way that also benefit the technology transfer profession and the field.”