The List Archives

Trends, facts and frivolity. The List keeps you in-the-know.

Get Ready for the Biggest, Baddest AUTM Annual Meeting EVER
Volume 2, Issue 2 — January 15, 2020

It's a big deal. No doubt about it. 2,000+ tech transfer pros from around the globe will be at AUTM's 2020 Annual Meeting to network, make deals and harvest knowledge from world-class speakers and panels. To help you get ready, The List imparts a dozen ways for you to be prepared like a good scout. 

1. Register in advance and save $100
Impress your boss by registering for the meeting in advance. You’ll save $100 off the cost of onsite registration. That’ll pay for a lot of fish tacos in San Diego. This is a no-brainer.

2. Download AUTM Connect 
Have the tools you need to partner your brains out and receive the latest news before, during and after the meeting by downloading the AUTM Connect meeting app. You can create a profile, share docs and arrange meetings with prospects (or tech transfer crushes). Remember, scheduling meetings provides a chance to sit down!

3. Watch the FREE webinar
Plan to watch this new webinar on making the most of partnering opportunities at the meeting. It even includes tips on what NOT to do. And who doesn’t love something for free?

4. Make a schedule of sessions and events
Some sessions fill up quickly, and you can’t be everywhere at once. So review the meeting schedule and create a list of sessions, presenters and networking opps that you definitely don’t want to miss. 

5. Craft social media posts to share
Leave no doubt that you’re a tech transfer influencer by using social media effectively before, during and after the meeting. Tag people you’ve met, or hope to meet, and share positive comments about the sessions and panels you’ve attended. Remember to post thanks to anyone you’ve met for the time they spent with you, and be sure to include #AUTM2020 in your posts! Need some help? AUTM created a Social Media Toolkit to help you get started.

6. Brush up on small talk conversation starters
For many folks, engaging in small talk (business or otherwise) is a source of anxiety. It doesn’t need to be. Be prepared with a go to list of subjects that you're comfortable with to help build conversation. Google it. Don’t just talk about the weather. On the flip side, you may also end up in a conversation you wish you’d never started. Be prepared for that too with a graceful (and polite) exit strategy in your pocket. Be creative! 

7. Create a target list of people to meet 
Getting out from behind your desk is a good first step. Take it to the next level by identifying the people you’d most like to engage at the meeting. Connect with them on social media, read their posts, and search for the latest news on their company or institution. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to reach out to your favorite cronies to arrange a meet-up for a drink, meal or sightseeing. Better yet, all of the above! 

8. Sharpen your scavenger hunt skills
That’s all we’re saying. Really.

9. Have a whale of a time in an official t-shirt 
Make the crowd say, "Who's that?"  by striking a pose in the exhibit hall, sessions or networking events in an official 2020 Annual Meeting t-shirt. The shirt tells the world know that you are a serious tech transfer player. Very. Very. Serious. And more than ready to make waves!

10. Pack a swimsuit, posh frock and essential accessories
Conferences are generally long, all day, sometimes well into the evening events. Forgetting your breath mints, eye drops, comb, hand sanitizer or charging cord could be a deal-killer. Make a list. Pack accordingly. P.S. Don’t forget your business cards!

11. Keep working it
If working out regularly is how you roll, note the hours and location of the hotel fitness center (a great place to meet other attendees). And why not unwind with a spa session too? You deserve it, tech transfer road warrior (we won’t tell)!

12. Choose reading material for your flights
If you’re a frequent traveler, you may already have this locked down. But if not, don’t be left with only whatever the previous person in your seat has left behind (ewww). Take a few minutes now to procure reading fodder for your trip. Perhaps a book on how to effectively network at a professional conference. 

We've Got What You've Been Waiting For
Volume 2, Issue 4 — February 12, 2020

AUTM's 2018 Licensing Survey was just released (not exaggerating, it was published just a few minutes ago)! The new Survey is chock full of information to inform your work, presented in a new cover-to-cover design that reads like eye candy. The List offers these tasty morsels to get the ball rolling. Enjoy! 
  • US research institutions posted a record number of patents in 2018.
  • 1,080 start-ups were formed in 2018, directly impacting local economies, with more than 69% of the new businesses remaining in their institution’s home state.
  • 828 new consumer products were born from academic research that entered the market.
  • 7,625 US patents were issued in 2018, the most-ever reported in the Survey.
  • The new benchmarking section helps you compare your TTO’s performance against peer groups. 
  • New field reporting delivers the “how” and “why” behind this year’s key trends.
  • This handy infographic will help tell your story, or plug in your own numbers with this fillable infographic.

Spring Cleaning Your Work Life
Volume 2, Issue 8 — April 8, 2020

Often anticipated with dread, the ritual of spring-cleaning is actually practical, cathartic and rewarding. With many of us currently working or sheltering at home and looking for ways to stay occupied, cleaning up one’s work life takes on “sure, might as well” status. Dust bunnies (virtual and otherwise), be on notice as The List offers tips for spring-cleaning work lives.

Refresh your inbox OK, it’s a given. But how often do you have the time to scroll down (keep scrolling) (now scroll some more) to the days of yesteryear in your inbox? Spot check if it makes you feel better, but it’s almost certain that you’re not going to find anything that you need to keep from way down there. Purge, baby, purge!  

Update and organize your digital files – Even if you pride yourself at staying well organized, cleaning out and updating your digital files is a worthwhile exercise. And when you’re done with that, oil up your shredder and turn your attention to those paper files that have been gathering dust and taking up space.

Review and hone your boilerplate materials – Your “go to” materials are your first stop when reaching out to partner and collaborate, but are often the last docs to be reviewed and updated with a fresh eye. Get to it!

Refresh your online presence Pour yourself something delicious, get comfortable, and take an honest look at your organization’s online presence. Chances are good that you’ll find broken links, outdated materials and functionality that could stand improvement. Don’t overlook banner ads that need updating or freshening your social media channels with new hashtags, graphics or success stories.

Stay sharp via webinars, online courses and productivity platforms If you’re like us, you’re inbox is flooded with email about professional development opportunities. With schedules somewhat eased up, now is an ideal time to learn more about what’s available to help you stay on top of your game. And schedule some time to check out productivity platforms, apps and programs that can give you a leg up on your competition. Oh, BTW, did you see AUTM’s 40% discount on recorded webinars? Hmm? Did you?

Refresh your 2020 timeline and budget – None of us anticipated the twists and turns this year has taken. Many best-laid plans have fallen to the side. Now is a good time to review that completely realistic 2020 budget and timeline that you toiled over and adjust it to reflect the new (we’re hopeful it’s temporary) normal.

Update and purge your contact list People change jobs and move between organizations frequently. Refresh your contact list by updating numbers, email and mailing addresses, birthdays, milestones and other special reminders. And while you’re at it, touch base with contacts that you’ve been too busy to stay in touch with. Chances are they’re also working from home and would welcome catching up!

Review and update your work wardrobe Donate, toss, or consign items that you haven’t worn in a few years, and create a list of basic wardrobe components needed to step up your work look. Online shopping from the comfort of home is a convenient way to hunt down style ideas and efficiently source the best values.

Find or become a tech transfer mentor Ask any colleague that’s done it and they’ll tell you that working with, or as a mentor is a rewarding experience. And as it happens, AUTM has a program for tech transfer mentoring. See what we did there?
High Fiving (safely and with tons of hand sanitizer) Nurses Everywhere
Volume 2, Issue 10 — May 6, 2020

They check our pulse, draw our blood, advocate and care for us when we’re sick. Often the first healthcare professional that we encounter, nurses work on the frontlines of administering treatment. They recognize red flag symptoms, understand illness complexities, and provide counsel on everything from chronic conditions to coping with death and dying. Nurses truly are with us throughout the continuum of life. Today (May 6) is National Nurses Day, nestled comfortably in the middle of National Nurses Week. In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we humbly offer our sincere thanks and appreciation for members of the largest and most trusted healthcare profession.

Nurse Numbers
There are 3.2 million professionally active registered nurses (RNs) in the US. The government projects more than 200,000 new registered nurse positions will be created each year. 
Nurse Ninjas
The nursing industry reports the second highest number of non-fatal work-related injuries in the country and the highest incidence of musculoskeletal injuries. Which means nurses are more likely than construction workers to suffer a back injury while performing their work.
Nurse Trivia
  • One of the first recorded references to the nursing profession is on a pillar in India that was built around 250 BC.
  • When asked to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in various professions in a 2016 Gallup poll, nurses ranked as the most trustworthy.
  • A century ago the majority of nurses in the US were men. Around this time, the American Nurses Association (ANA) moved to prevent men from legally being able to become nurses. Men were eventually re-welcomed to nursing, but the industry continues to be dominated by women. Men make up only 9.1% of the entire nursing workforce.
Nurse Superstars
  • Florence Nightingale was an English nurse remembered as a pioneer of professional nursing and hospital sanitation methods. Using statistical analysis during the Crimean War, she developed the "polar-area diagram" to spotlight needless deaths caused by unsanitary conditions.
  • Clara Barton was a teacher, and a recording clerk at the US Patent Office (the first woman appointed to this post). When the Civil War began in 1861, Barton quit her job and made it her mission to care for and bring supplies to Union soldiers in need. Known as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” Barton went on to become founder of the American Red Cross.
  • Rachel Walker is a UMass Amherst nursing professor well-known for her many innovations, including special glasses that measure fatigue in cancer patients, a machine that can generate IV fluids from water in disaster zones, and a device that can measure toxicity in the blood after chemotherapy. She's been named an invention ambassador by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Nurse Innovators
In their roles, nurses see medical practices and procedures from unique perspectives, resulting in many revolutionary inventions that save lives and make living more pleasant. The List thanks nurses for not only what they do, but what they’ve done for the medical field, too. Check out:
  • Crash Cart - If your heart stops, the defibrillator and resuscitation equipment in a Crash Cart could save your life. The wheeled set of drawers stocked with equipment was invented by Anita Dorr, RN in 1968, after years of watching precious time slip away as doctors and nurses selected the proper tools. She created the prototype in her basement, and Crash Carts are now used all over the world. Dorr went on to co-found the Emergency Nurses Association.
  • Color Coded IV Line - IV lines were made of clear plastic until sisters Terri Barton-Salinas, RN, and Gail Barton-Hay, RN, were granted a patent in 2003 for their color-coded lines to help reduce medical errors. The nurses got their idea when while working as labor delivery nurses.
  • Neonatal Phototherapy - Jaundice makes infants appear yellow due to high bilirubin levels in their blood. Usually the liver helps break bilirubin down, but not always efficiently. In the 1950s, nurse Sister Jean Ward discovered that fresh air and warm sunlight helped the babies she cared for. Today medical professionals everywhere use phototherapy to treat jaundiced babies.
  • Bili-Bonnet - In the 1990s, Sharon Rogone, RN created glasses especially designed for the teeny patients undergoing bilirubin treatment for jaundice. She held the eye protection in place with a little bonnet and called the whole thing the Bili-Bonnet. Rogone started her own company, Small Beginnings, and has since created other inventions for preemies.
  • Baby Bottle Disposable Liner - In the 1940s, nurse Adda May Allen created a collapsible, disposable baby bottle liner. The device made it easier for babies to suck their formula with less spitting up and gastric upset. The bottles were tested on infants at George Washington University Hospital and were later mass-produced by Playtex.
  • Feeding Tube for Paralyzed Veterans – In the aftermath of World War II, nurse Bessie Blount Griffin invented a tube to help paralyzed veterans feed themselves. Patients could bite down on the tube to receive a mouthful of liquefied food. Griffin later went into forensic science and was the first African-American woman to work at Scotland Yard.
  • Ostomy Bag - In 1954, Danish nurse Elise Sorensen created a plastic pouch for her younger sister to wear following colon cancer surgery. Previous devices often leaked and were extremely inconvenient to use. Today, her invention helps those who’ve had ostomy surgery live normal lives.
  • Hand Sanitizer - Did a Bakersfield nursing student invent hand sanitizer in the 1960s? COVID-19 reignites the Lupe Hernandez debate.

Promoting Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Volume 2, Issue 12 — June 4, 2020
Education is important, and during these times we don’t always know the right thing to say or do. AUTM’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee encourages you to read the literature highlighted here, along with many other sources, to help with understanding and awareness. If you have articles, books or recordings you’d like added to this list, which will remain accessible on, please share it with us
It's Howard Bremer Scholarship Time!
Volume 2, Issue 14 — July 1, 2020

Launched in 2002, AUTM’s Howard Bremer Scholarship supports students and those new to the tech transfer profession. Named to honor Bremer, a pioneer in the field and past AUTM President, the scholarship recognizes creativity, innovation and passion. What are you waiting for, future tech transfer superstar? Apply today!

By the Numbers
  • 17 – years the scholarship has been awarded
  • 80 – total scholarship recipients to date
  • 44% – scholarships granted to people of color
  • 26% – recipients that became active AUTM volunteers
  • 3 – recipients that also received AUTM Volunteer Service Awards
  • 28 – recipients went on to serve on AUTM committees or task forces
  • Aug. 14 – application deadline for the 2021 Howard Bremer Scholarship

Staycation All I Ever Wanted, Staycation Have to Get Away…
Volume 2, Issue 16 — July 29, 2020

Trust us, we understand. Physical distancing and staying close to home for months has intensified the yearning for travel to exciting, exotic places. But mid-pandemic (wishful thinking) sensibility dictates that this year a “staycation” is the best option. While maybe not a dream destination, there are real positives to staying close to home. Staycations are (usually) more affordable than other getaways, and much more likely to deliver highly valued “if I only had the time” time. So, sit back and relax as The List serves up suggestions for staycation activities to savor.
Learn a new skill or hobby online
Been waiting for the perfect opportunity to learn a new language, brush up on professional training, or get in touch with your inner artist? Well, now’s the time! Choose from the plethora of online learning opportunities. Get learning!
Initiate an all-family home improvement DIY project
What’s more rewarding than working together toward a common goal? If you’re staycationing with the family, group-agree to a project (indoors or out) and assign everyone a task. DIY projects encourage self-expression, foster creativity and demonstrate the importance of working within a budget. Plus, something that needed doing gets done. Oh, the togetherness!
Take a day trip
Whether it's to a town a couple hours away that you've never visited, or a local park, botanical garden or zoo, day trips offer learning, adventure and fodder for your happy memories bank. You may even discover a favorite new go-to place. Don’t forget your camera!
Be a tourist in your own community
Explore your town and visit attractions, parks and local businesses that you’ve never been to. Everyone in your tribe can take turns picking where to go and what to do. Remember to don a mask and practice physical distancing.
Visit a farmers market
Head out to a farmers market and behold the plentiful bounty! Or take things a staycation step further and visit a pick-your-own field and bring home a taste of summer deliciousness. Call us when the blueberry peach cobbler is ready
Designate theme days
Are your days blending together into a big unidentifiable blob? Theme days may be the answer. Go with beach party, ren fair, 50s school hop, gaming. Whatever! Encourage costumes, décor, or adopt a special lingo for the day. Arrange a time to meet for theme-related cocktails or nibbles, or create a theme meal to remember. Add a Zoom component (don’t forget a background!) and share themes with other family members, friends and neighbors. Prizes to the most creative!
Backyard family campout
Air out your sleeping bags and get the tents ready, because this year backyard campouts are all the rage. Ratchet things up by transforming the ordinary campout into a learning event, by showing the kids how to choose the best site, or how to set up a tent. And no camping trip is complete without a cookout, treats, decorations and plenty of scary stories. So be prepared. Best of all, there’s a clean washroom just steps away!
Spa Days
Who doesn’t enjoy being pampered? Create an at-home spa experience with fresh linens, a hot bath or shower, calming music and flattering lighting. Give yourself the perfect manicure, pedicure and facial, and scrub anything that needs scrubbed.  
Get creative in the kitchen
Whether perfecting outdoor grilling, trying a new cuisine, or simply breathing new life into your weekday dinner repertoire, make some time in your staycation to nurture your culinary prowess. Try that new kitchen gadget that you bought, shelved and never used. Or cook, portion and freeze a mess-o-meals for coming weeks. Yum!
Read a Book
For many of us, reading is synonymous with vacationing. Staycations offer the same opportunity. Up your reading game by creating a super-comfortable environment and surround yourself with a variety of formats and genres. Nodding off mid-chapter? Welcome the nap with open arms. This is a staycation, after all!
The Not Back to School List
Volume 2, Issue 18 — August 26, 2020

 If it feels like this back-to-school season seems worse than others, you’re not alone.
"It’s the most challenging time in history for back to school," said Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a consumer consulting firm in New York City.

In our AUTM Member poll, most of you reported that you and your children (or area school districts) will be work- and school-from-home for the foreseeable future.

At least there's no need to worry about matching your mask to your outfit. Our advice? Invest in a great router for the overloaded home wifi.
Interesting back-to-school stats for these COVID times:
AUTM Members’ Back-to-School & Work Picture
Our AUTM Member poll revealed:
  • 74% said you and your children or school district will work from home
  • 12% said you and your children or school district will return to in-person work and studies
  • 8% said you will work in-person, while your children or school district is virtual
  • 4% said you will work virtual, while your children or school district does a hybrid mix (a few days in-person, a few days virtual)
  • 2% said you'll work virtual while your children or school district is back in-person
The State of Back-to-College Nationwide
For a peek at how colleges and universities around the US plan to reopen, check out Davidson College’s up-to-date dashboard. According to this list, just 2.5% are going fully in-person, but just 6% are going fully online. 27% reported being primarily online, 20% reported being primarily in person. 15% will be hybrid, and 24% still haven’t determined their plans as of August 25.
Back to School State-by-State
Distance learning. Alternating in-person with remote instruction. One child to a bus seat. Canceled field trips. Symptom checks. Plans, frameworks, and delays. The back-to-school landscape is being determined state-by-state, and while it looks different for each one, one factor unites them all: they seem to change by the minute. USA Today gathered a list of reopening plans for each state as of August 3.
Photos of Schools Reopening around the World
For a glimpse at what Back to School 2020 looks like globally, check out this USA Today photo story.
We’re Going to Spend a Lot Less on Back-to-School Clothes
And a lot more on technology. According to Deloitte’s annual back-to-school survey, taken this June:
  • 40% of parents expect to buy fewer traditional school supplies as technology is more prevalent (vs. 30% in 2019).
  • Technology spending up 28%, offsetting a reduction in apparel (down 17% YoY) and traditional back-to-school items (down 18% YoY).
  • Concern over students falling behind caused 51% of parents to increase spending on virtual learning tools.
All that Tech is Adding up to a Potentially Record Year for Spending
Parents reported that they’re planning to spend $92.79 more this year on school supplies, topping last year’s record spending, according to the National Retail Federation. This would bring total spending up to $33.9 billion, breaking the 2012 record of $30.3 billion. Add that to back-to-college shopping, and you get a project $101.6 billion.
The Transition to Tech-Focused Learning has Exponentially Increased in a Few Short Years
Just five years ago, only 30 percent of principals reported their students were assigned a mobile device such as a laptop or tablet. In 2017, that number had doubled. Today, it’s become essential to the remote learning process.
Where Schools Close the Most Due to Snow
Just for fun, we looked up the stats on the original school-closer: snow. While this is an informal survey, Louisville, KY, topped this chart in The Atlantic.
Oh, the Irony: NYTimes Investigates Snow Closure Rates over Time …
… 17 days before Coronavirus shut down most schools in the country. Speaking of snow, this story is informative, particularly for all those whose parents told them they walked uphill both ways in the snow.
With So Many Unknowns, We Find it Helpful to Laugh
Here’s a joke courtesy of, yes, the US Census Bureau’s “Fun Facts: Back to School” handout:
  • “Who is the king of school supplies?
  • The ruler.”  

Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Run for the Board
Volume 2, Issue 20 — September 23, 2020
There are many benefits to throwing your hat in the ring.

A stint as a Director on AUTM's Board is personally and professionally fulfilling, and also fun! Read on to learn the top 10 reasons to run, then head over to our application page to start yours. Be sure to submit by Oct. 15!

Need more convincing? Read columns by AUTM Board Chair-Elect Laura Savatski and previous Board Member, current EDI Committee Member Gayatri Varma on the importance of running.

Drumroll, please:

1.    You’ll Make a Difference
Share your skills and expertise and have a positive, lasting impact on technology transfer by serving on AUTM’s Board. If you’re passionate about AUTM’s mission – supporting and advancing technology transfer worldwide – serving is an outstanding way to give back by helping chart the future of our profession.
2.   You’ll Stay Current
Engage in high-level discussions tackling the day’s key issues – from diversity and equity to making it easier to license PPE and treatments for a global pandemic.
3.   You’ll Shape the Future of Tech Transfer
Directors on AUTM’s Boards are key players engaged in shaping the Association’s strategic goals, and the future of tech transfer.
4.    You’ll Sharpen Your Skills
Grow beyond the skills of your day job with nonprofit leadership experience. As a Director, you’ll contribute to the governance of the Association and engage with AUTM staff and Cabinet members who drive Association operations.
5.   You’ll Practice Diplomacy and Negotiation
Make no mistake, there will be conflict, lively debates and fascinating discussions. Working with others and considering multiple points of view will sharpen your diplomacy and negotiating skills and broaden your horizon.
6.     You’ll Expand Your Network
As a Director, you'll expand and diversify your network of influencers, contacts, and future friends.
7.    You’ll Advance Your Career
One of the key attributes senior leaders look for when considering hiring or promoting people is experience serving the community. Businesses and universities want to be good corporate citizens through the activities of their employees, and they understand the value of skills learned by professionals who serve on nonprofit boards. Advance professionally by serving in a leadership position with AUTM.
8.     You’ll Have A Manageable Commitment
The AUTM Board meets in person four times a year (including once at the AUTM Annual Meeting location, which can be anywhere in the US). Except for the Annual Meeting, the in-person Board meetings last two days. There are additional 2-hour video calls scheduled monthly throughout the year (less time than your pre-COVID commute?) Directors are expected to attend all meetings and prepare in advance. You may get involved in specific task groups as the need arises. 
9.     You’ll Have a Fantastic Experience
“Serving on the AUTM Board has been a fantastic experience. It has allowed me to use my expertise to make a meaningful contribution to the profession that I care so much about. In return, it has enriched both the personal and professional aspects of my life. If you’re a team player and strategic thinker who wants to make  a difference, running for a position on the Board is well worth considering.” — Alison Campbell, OBE, PhD, RTTP, former AUTM  Board Chair. 

10. And? You’ll Have Fun!
Lively debate, growing and challenging your skills, travel, speaking opportunities, charting the future course of your profession, and connecting with new people: the AUTM Board has fun together.
See for yourself!    Apply Now