Tech Transfer Process

University research sometimes results in tangible or intangible products termed intellectual property (IP) which may have commercial applications. Researchers who believe that they have developed a novel product, process, material, plant variety, or copyrightable work that may have commercial applications should contact the Office of Technology Transfer.

Evaluation Request

An Evaluation Request Form is required to disclose your technology to the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) and start the review process.  Developers obligated to assign their intellectual property ownership rights in new innovations to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, as defined by the Southern Illinois University- System Intellectual Property Policy  (SIU IP Policy) are required to fill out this form to complete that assignment of rights.  Contact the OTT if you have any questions on filling out this form.

Evaluation Request Petition Process (for non-SIU employees only)

Developers who are considered Board affiliates that are not automatically obligated by the Southern Illinois University- System Intellectual Property Policy (SIU IP Policy) to assign their rights in an innovation to the Board, but who desire their innovation to be supported by the university must complete an Evaluation Request Petition.  Board affiliates include, but are not limited to, medical residents, unpaid adjunct professors, unpaid students, and students who have not used substantial university funding or resources to develop the innovation.  If the petition is approved, the Board affiliates will be treated as a developers obligated to assign their intellectual property ownership rights to the Board as defined by the SIU IP Policy.  A corresponding Evaluation Request Form must also be completed to assign the innovation to the Board so that it may be governed by the SIU IP Policy.  Contact the Office of Technology Transfer if you have any questions on these forms or your potential status as a Board affiliate.

Invention Review

SIU’s Technology Transfer team compiles a written assessment of the patentability (if applicable) and marketability of the invention. Factors such as the technology’s stage of development, novelty, market potential, possible licensees, and inventor intentions are all considered. Upon favorable review or inventor request, the assessment is presented to a peer committee and/or campus research administrators to determine the technology disposition.

Intellectual Property Protection Process

If the invention is retained by SIU for commercialization, the Office of Technology Transfer will work with the inventor to protect it via a patent, copyright, trade secret, or other compatible legal and/or administrative structure. Note that patent prosecution (the application process required by the United States Patent and Trademark) in particular is a multi-stage process which may take years to culminate in the granting of patent rights. Commercialization efforts typically continue throughout this prosecution period.

Note that in some cases, a non-provisional patent application may be rejected by the USPTO due to conflicts with prior art. The Office of Technology Transfer and any contracted patent attorneys will attempt to identify potential prior art conflicts prior to filing a non-provisional patent application.

Marketing and Licensing

The Office of Technology Transfer will collaborate with the inventor(s) to market technologies for licensing either to industry or as the basis for a spin-off company.


SIU monitors the performance of any licensed technologies and distributes proceeds to the inventor, SIU, and the inventor's college or department according to the SIU Intellectual Property Policy. Inventors often serve in key roles in spin-off companies; however, a high level of participation may not be prerequisite to the successful commercialization of an invention.