Friday, December 2

The History of Technology Transfer Office at SDSU


Transferring technology from research laboratories to the marketplace has always been a challenge. Throughout history, different methods and approaches have been used to facilitate the transfer of technology from one place to another. In this article, we take a look at the history of technology transfer at San Diego State University, and how our current technology transfer office has helped navigate these waters successfully.

The Evolution of Technology Transfer at SDSU

Technology Transfer at San Diego State University has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. In 1894, Professor Walter A. Rice founded the school’s first technology department. The department was initially housed in Room 222 of Old Main, and it was here that Rice conducted groundbreaking research in the field of electrical engineering.

In 1909, Rice established the school’s first technology transfer office. This office was instrumental in helping him advance his research agenda and commercialize his discoveries. In 1922, Rice retired from SDSU and handed over control of the technology transfer office to his successor, Professor A.V. Miller. Under Miller’s leadership, the technology transfer office grew steadily in size and stature.

In 1959, Professor Jerald Dorn founded what is now known as the Dornsife School of Engineering Technology and Applied Sciences. Dorn saw the importance of integrating technology into the educational experience and wanted to create an environment where students could learn by doing. As a result, he created one of the first integrated engineering programs in the country.

In 1969, Miller retired and Dr. Arthur Rosinger was appointed acting director of the technology transfer office. Rosinger played a significant role in

The Development of the Technology Transfer Office at SDSU

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at San Diego State University was established in the early 1970’s as a resource for faculty, staff, and students seeking to commercialize their research. The TTO has since grown into an essential part of the university’s technology transfer process, providing support for faculty in the development of new technologies, marketing and licensing of technologies, and management of technology transfer activities.

The TTO has played a significant role in the commercialization of a number of SDSU technology innovations. One such example is the invention and commercialization of the first low-cost handheld scanner, which was developed by Dr. Mark Lemley and his team at the TTO. The TTO has also been instrumental in the commercialization of several SDSU inventions that have received national attention, including the world’s first low-cost 3D printer and a solar cell material that can be printed directly onto plastic consumer goods.

The TTO is committed to providing its members with a variety of resources and support to help them successfully pursue technology transfer initiatives. These resources include one-on-one consultations with our experts, access to our state-of-the-art technology resources, networking opportunities with other technology transfer offices nationwide,

Current Structure and Functions of the Technology Transfer Office at SDSU

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at San Diego State University is one of the largest and most active technology transfer offices in the region. The TTO has played an integral role in the university’s success as a research institution, and its current structure and functions reflect this.

The TTO was originally created in 1984 as a small office within the School of Engineering. It was tasked with assisting faculty members in transferring their research findings to commercialization. Over time, the office has grown in size and scope, becoming one of the most active technology transfer offices in North America.

Today, the TTO facilitates interactions between university researchers and businesses, manages technology licensing agreements, oversees technology transfer courses and programs, provides guidance to entrepreneurs on starting their own businesses, and provides support for techTransfer Fellowships program. In addition, the office administers several funding programs devoted to technology commercialization, such as the SDSU Entrepreneurship Center Startup Fund and the SDSU Research Commercialization Grant Program.

The TTO is led by an executive director who reports to the vice president for research and innovation. The current executive director is Laura L. Shelnutt. Shelnutt has over 25 years


Technology transfer offices (TTOs) have been around for quite some time and they play an important role in the diffusion of technology. Originally conceived as an office within a company that was responsible for transferring technology to other companies, today’s TTOs are more versatile and work with universities, research labs, and startups to help them commercialize their innovations. In this article, we explore the history of SDSU’s TTO and discuss how it has helped contribute to the growth of San Diego’s tech scene.

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