Achieving gender equity in tech transfer

New research guides university tech transfer offices like WARF to cultivate women inventors

Jennifer Gottwald, director of licensing at WARF, wants as many UW-Madison inventors as possible to disclose their ideas to WARF and pursue patenting. Women comprise just 12.8% of total inventor-patentees in the U.S. in 2019, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, so Gottwald knows there’s plenty of untapped potential.

“My job is to license the technologies we have at WARF and find commercial partners for our patents,” she says. “I want to see as many potential patents as possible coming out of UW, so that what I have in my portfolio to offer companies is as complete and high-quality as possible.”

Gottwald and colleagues at university technology transfer offices around the country recently published research on what motivates women inventors to file patents, plus recommendations for tech transfer offices like WARF on cultivating women inventors to progress toward gender parity in innovation. The paper was part of a special edition of Technology & Innovation.

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