Technology Transfer Companies: Turning Academic Research into Tangible Solutions and Startup Companies

Technology transfer companies play a crucial role in translating groundbreaking research into practical solutions that benefit society. They serve as bridges between academia and industry, facilitating the transformation of theoretical discoveries into marketable products and services.

Ramot, established in 1973a subsidiary of Tel Aviv University Ltd. is the Tech-Transfer company of Tel Aviv University, responsible for commercializing the inventions and patents of the university’s researchers. It manages all the university’s commercialization activities, from protecting the intellectual property of researchers’ inventions to licensing them to relevant industrial entities. The company fosters and creates new business opportunities at the university, such as establishing startups, licensing technology to existing companies – both Israeli and multinational – and creating collaborations with these entities.

Since its inception, Ramot has filed over 5,000 patent applications and maintains a portfolio of approximately 1,600 patent applications and patents. Ramot signs dozens of commercial agreements each year and is involved in the establishment of approximately 100 startups.

Startup establishment is a central strategy employed by Ramot to promote technologies. When a technology requires further development, Ramot facilitates fundraising, identifies suitable entrepreneurs, and collaborates with venture capital funds, incubators, and other organizations that support entrepreneurs. This collaboration equips entrepreneurs with the tools and support they need for startup success. For instance, Ramot has successfully nurtured two notable startups:

Alpha Tau: Established in 2015, based on the technology of Prof. Yona Keisari and Prof. Itzhak Kelson. Alpha Tau is a clinical-stage oncology company developing a novel radiotherapy technology for treating solid tumors. The company’s technology aims to address the limitations of conventional radiation therapy by minimizing side effects and improving treatment efficacy. In 2022, Alpha Tau merged with SPAC at a valuation of approximately $1 billion and began trading on the Nasdaq. The company recently conducted its first clinical trial in prostate cancer patients.

Imagindairy: Founded in 2020, Imagindairy is a biotechnology company based on Prof. Tamir Tuller’s technology. It is developing a sustainable and scalable process for producing cultivated dairy products using precision fermentation. Leveraging artificial intelligence and systems biology, Imagindairy’s technology utilizes microorganisms to create milk proteins identical to those found in cow’s milk. As of 2022, the company has raised approximately $28 million in funding.

At the heart of Ramot’s success in nurturing tech transfer startups lies its close collaboration with researchers. Ramot actively engages with researchers throughout the innovation cycle, from ideation to commercialization. This deep understanding of the research landscape and the challenges faced by researchers enables Ramot to identify promising technologies with commercial potential and provide tailored support to transform them into viable startups.

The company’s collaborative approach extends to identifying and attracting talented entrepreneurs. Ramot works closely with researchers to identify individuals with the technical expertise, business acumen, and leadership skills necessary to successfully lead tech transfer startups. By fostering strong relationships with both researchers and entrepreneurs, Ramot creates an environment conducive to innovation and startup growth.

To navigate the ever-changing technological landscape, Ramot adopts innovative strategies. It allocates resources to identify emerging technological trends and participates in international conferences and events. These activities enable Ramot to recognize new opportunities for technology transfer and establish international partnerships.

In conclusion, Ramot plays a pivotal role in commercializing groundbreaking research from Tel Aviv University. By supporting researchers, establishing startups, collaborating with venture funds, incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurs, and fostering a culture of close collaboration with researchers, Ramot contributes to Israel’s economy and enhances our lives through novel technologies.

You can find more information on the Ramot:

About the author

Tali Aloya Ph.D.
VP Business Development, Life sciences at Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd

Dr. Tali Aloya is a seasoned Life science executive with over 20 years of experience, including roles as CEO of BioRap Technologies and IP director at High Jump Pharma. She currently leads the Life Sciences Business Development at Ramot, Tel Aviv University, and holds a PhD in Biological Chemistry from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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