Brion A. Berman, MS, JD, RTTP
Assistant Director, Office of Technology Transfer
University of Central Florida
Brion is an Assistant Director in UCF’s Office of Technology Transfer and is responsible for IP portfolio management and commercialization of all the life sciences technologies at UCF. Prior to joining UCF, Brion was in-house IP Counsel at Procter & Gamble, and Technology Transfer Agent at ASRC Aerospace for the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Brion is a Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, current Chair of the AUTM Public Policy Legal Task Force, a member of the AUTM Public Policy Advisory Committee and a Registered Technology Transfer Professional.
Brion routinely teaches and provides training, educational seminars and counseling related to intellectual property, business development, career advice, and policies and procedures at LES, BIO, Association of Corporate Counsel and Life Sciences Patent Network events. He also serves as a Technology Transfer Specialist for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
What experience do you have working on or with a strategic board of directors?
I have many years of experience working on and with strategic boards of directors. I currently serve as Chair of the AUTM Public Policy Legal Task Force and have been a member of the Committee since 2013. In that time, I have worked closely with AUTM, AAU, APLU, BIO, and similar organizations to identify, draft, review and advocate on legal, legislative and regulatory developments that impact the work of technology transfer professionals. Additionally, I was the President of the Coastal Southern Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association from 2013 to 2020 and, since 2016, I currently am on the Board of Directors for my Homeowners Association, and the Central Florida Women's Lacrosse Association.
Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.
As Chair of the Public Policy Legal Task Force and member of the Public Policy Advisory Committee, I have worked closely with AUTM, AAU, APLU, BIO, and other similar organizations to identify, draft, review and advocate on legal, legislative and regulatory developments that impact the work of technology transfer professionals. Additionally, I have presented on various topics at the AUTM Eastern Regional Meeting, webinars, and Operations and Compliance Courses.
What motivates you to join the AUTM Board of Directors?
AUTM plays a vital role in the life and sustainability of the technology transfer industry. Over the last 20 years in technology transfer, I have gained vast experience working in the state, federal, and corporate sectors and have a passion for advocacy that can further AUTM’s goals. Most importantly, I have learned a lot from other AUTM Members that has helped me throughout my career. AUTM helped me make a career out of a profession that I previously did not know existed. I want to advocate for and give back to the organization, profession, and next generation of professionals.
Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.
I have been on the Board of Directors for my Homeowners Association since 2016, and the Central Florida Women's Lacrosse Association and from 2013 to 2020. I was the President of the Coastal Southern Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association from 2013 to 2020.
AUTM has recently changed how the Chair is appointed each year, with the Chair now selected from amongst the sitting Board members each year. If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you further consider serving as Chair of the Board. Why or why not?
Yes, if selected by my fellow Board members, I would consider serving as the Chair of the Board so that I can give back to and be an advocate for the technology transfer community.
Please list specific personal strengths that you believe are valuable to the AUTM Board of Directors and/or the strategic direction of the Association?
I have worked in technology transfer for almost 20 years for the state, federal government, and private industry. I have also been privileged to help AUTM advocate on behalf of the technology transfer profession. Participation in a leadership role will allow me to bring my knowledge of the industry, network, and advocacy skills to benefit our profession.
What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan in other organizations?
While COVID-19 has been devastating, it has also provided opportunities to improve. As a member of the Board of my HOA, prior to COVID-19, our biggest concern was hurricanes, as we did not have emergency standard operating procedures (SOPs). However, COVID-19 has made us close communal parks and property for an extended period, and focus the needs of the community on more than hurricanes. I have spearheaded the effort to craft and implement emergency SOPs not only for COVID-19 but also for future emergencies.
How does the three-year term for the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit in with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board?
I can serve and balance the responsibilities and time commitment of being a Board member without interfering with other commitments.
AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both amongst the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area.
Being Jewish and growing up in the deep south (Alabama), I am very sensitive to equity, diversity and inclusion. One of my favorite things about working at a university is the diverse culture of students, faculty, and staff. UCF has over 69,000 students and a complement of employees from all over the world representing various genders, races, ethnicities, educations, skill sets, religions, and identities who partner to create inclusive and equitable support for our students. I am proud to help contribute to our diverse culture. Like UCF, AUTM Members are from all over the world and from all walks of life. The AUTM Board should continue its efforts to grow and diversify the organization from within as well as external partners. For example, I would like to explore with AUTM leadership how we can expand mentorship programs that foster equity, diversity, and inclusion to underrepresented communities, offices and organizations so that we can move the needle in engagement of all constituencies.
Is there anything else you would like AUTM Members to know about you before they vote?
Family and my career are extremely important to me. Technology transfer has provided me both a career and a family in AUTM. If elected, I will bring the same devotion that I have to my family and career to AUTM.