Reimagining The TTO

AUTM Annual Meeting

Reimagining The TTO: From Technology Transfer to Knowledge Transfer

Tuesday, February 21 
8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Central Time



Building on the wildly popular 2022 Annual Meeting discussion that looked back at the evolution of the technology transfer profession, this year's panel looks into the future and how tech transfer can meet the industry's growing expectations. The panel will also explore how continued mission growth and increased federal expectations arising from the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 will shape the future of academic tech transfer.

Sponsored by:

About the Speakers

Chase KasperChase Kasper [moderator] joined Clemson University in February 2019 as Senior Deputy Director of the Clemson University Research Foundation. He is the former Assistant Vice President for Research, Technology Transfer, and Corporate Engagement at the University of Southern Mississippi.

During his tenure at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), Kasper helped establish and grow the newly formed Office of Technology Development, which serves as the technology transfer arm for the university. He also managed corporate relations and served as the Facilities Security Officer and Senior Insider Threat Program Officer. Under his leadership, USM substantially increased the number of agreements negotiated and executed annually with the private sector. As part of the Research Enterprise team, he helped USM achieve its “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” status in the prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. He also led the “Research and Innovation” Subcommittee for the Governor’s Mississippi Defense Initiative.

Prior to joining the University of Southern Mississippi in 2013, Kasper worked at Mississippi State University for almost 10 years, transitioning from Manager of the MSU Research and Technology Corporation, to the Interim Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization, to the Associate Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer. Kasper also worked in industry for nearly 14 years prior to working in university settings.

Kasper holds a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Business Administration, both from Mississippi State University.

Allyson Best Allyson Best serves as the Director for the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at The University of Mississippi (UM). The OTC team supports UM innovations through engagement with industry, the investment community, and local, state and federal governments. She earned her B.S. in Marketing from Clemson University and her M.B.A. in Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management from The University of Mississippi.

Anne Di Sante is an experienced technology transfer professional and views that role as a catalyst for technology development. Throughout her 35 year career, she has embraced the roles of a technology manager, director of licensing, tech transfer office leadership and is now the executive director of Michigan State University(MSU) Technologies.

Upon arriving at MSU in 2012, Di Sante accelerated technology licensing by setting clear licensing guidelines. Additionally, sheconsistently encourages transparency with inventors, which has contributed to improved relationships with MSUT’s stakeholders. Di Sante is frequently invited to speak on various aspects of academic technology transfer and is a Certified Licensing Professional. She is an active member of AUTM, volunteering for AUTM since 1988, and previously served as Vice President of the Central Region. She received the AUTM President’s Award in 2012 for her outstanding and lasting contributions to the organization.

Prior to her career in academic tech transfer, Di Sante was an ASCP-certified medical technologist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in medical technology, master’s degree in microbiology and immunology and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Graciela (Gracie) Narcho is the U.S. National Science Foundation's deputy assistant director of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP).

Narcho has been with NSF for nearly three decades, serving in a broad range of roles spanning the development of the TIP Directorate, grants and agreements oversight, program management and diversity and inclusion efforts.

Narcho is known as a change agent for positive human capital reforms, business practice innovations, and NSF policy development. Together with colleagues across NSF, Narcho has helped develop and launch several NSF initiatives, including the industry-government partnerships for the National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes program, the Global Environment for Networking Innovation, or GENI, the Computing Community Consortium, or CCC, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships, or CSGrad4US.

Keith Marmer serves as chief innovation & economic engagement officer at the University of Utah. In this role, Marmer has transformed the culture of commercialization at University of Utah, launching three accelerators, a business incubator and a venture fund to support startup companies, facilitating the creation of 52 companies, and generating more than $60 million in university revenue from licensing and industry collaborations.

Previously, Marmer was co-founder and managing director of SG3 Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage life science companies. Prior to SG3 Ventures, Marmer was chief business officer at Penn Center for Innovation, University of Pennsylvania. Before his university-based commercialization roles, he was an entrepreneur, founding and scaling two companies and co-founding a consulting firm that advised early-stage growth companies. Across his career, Marmer has launched, helped to launch or overseen teams responsible for starting more than 140 companies.

Marmer serves and has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards and is a past entrepreneur-in-residence at Princeton University. He received an MBA, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from University of the Sciences.

Rodney Ridley is Vice-President of Research Economic Development and Innovation as well as the Founding Dean of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (STEAM) College at Alvernia University (AU). He also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the O’Pake Institute for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship at AU. He is the key implementor of the Reading CollegeTowne initiative, which is transforming the university and revitalizing downtown Reading, Pennsylvania. The O’Pake Institute was redesigned in 2019 under his leadership to house “CollegeTowne” and serve as a catalyst for experiential education, entrepreneurship, and economic development.  He founded the O’Pake Student Fellows Program, Business Incubator, Technology Transfer Office, Professional Mentor Program and Micro-Grant Fund. He also oversees AU’s Industry Outreach & Venture Investment activities. 

Prior to joining AU, he was the Executive Director & Distinguished Professor of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University. There he was the founding Director of the Wilkes Business Incubator, the Technology Transfer Office, the Industry & Community Outreach Office, and a Micro-Grant Fund. In June 2017, he was named “Innovator of the Year” by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.

His professional experiences include Chair/Director & Associate Professor in the ABET accredited Engineering & Physics Division at Wilkes University, Engineering Director at Velox Semiconductor, Vice-President of Technology at Data Friendly Inc, and Principal Engineer & Key Technologist at Fairchild Semiconductor.

Ridley holds 27 U.S. patents, numerous foreign patents and has authored more than 35 journal and conference articles. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University, and a B.S. degree in Physics from Lincoln University (PA).

Charles Valauskas is legal counsel to business ventures, non-profit organizations and individuals involved in the development and commercialization of a variety of new technologies and creative products and services.  

He speaks on a regular basis throughout the world on technological and intellectual property topics. Valauskas has also authored books, chapters, and articles on intellectual property and business-related topics.

He has appeared on the BBC World Series and in articles published in a variety of popular publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the ABA Journal, and Crain’s Chicago Business. Valauskas is a former adjunct law professor for intellectual property matters.

He was the Vice President for Industry Relations of AUTM and has continued to serve on many of its committees.

Valauskas received his B.S. from the University of Illinois (Chicago), his J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law, and his LL.M. from the Northwestern University School of Law. He is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois.

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