New Location Improves Efficiency

By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer
Two women talking.

Jennifer Troyer (left), a senior scientist in the Laboratory of Molecular Technology, consults with Courtney Silverthorn, an IP specialist, in the atrium of the ATRF. The SAIC-Frederick IP Office often works with scientists from the Advanced Technology Program.

By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

The physical proximity of the SAIC-Frederick Intellectual Property (IP) Office to the NCI Technology Transfer Center (NCI-TTC) is one of the many benefits of being at the Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF), according to Courtney Silverthorn, Ph.D. Being in one location “has increased the effectiveness of both informal communication and formal meetings. We have already brainstormed solutions for several issues in the hallway during an informal chat,” said Silverthorn, an SAIC-Frederick IP specialist.

The IP Office works closely with NCI-TTC on matters related to collaboration agreements, materials and technology transfer, and invention reporting and patents. With the offices now just a few steps away from each other instead of in different buildings, Silverthorn said, “We can easily walk IP-related documents, such as invention reports or an original copy of a Material Transfer Agreement, down the hall instead of sending them through interoffice mail.” This aspect alone can save up to four business days, she said.

The IP Office reports all inventions made by SAIC-Frederick scientists to NCI-TTC, which evaluates the invention and makes decisions on patenting and marketing, Silverthorn explained. They often co-negotiate agreements with NCI-TTC when an interaction involves scientists from both NCI and SAIC-Frederick or when a collaboration with the external research community is in development.

In addition to collaboration agreements, the IP Office helps develop beta-test agreements, “which allow us to evaluate new equipment or software and provide feedback to the company,” Silverthorn said.

In-Person Assistance Readily Available

The IP Office interacts regularly with scientists from the Advanced Technology Program because of the frequency for which the labs are sought out for collaborations, Silverthorn said. “Many of them are now located in the ATRF, which means they can stop by if they have a question about entering into a collaborative agreement, exchanging materials or information with another party, or reporting an invention. We can assist them more effectively in person rather than exchanging a series of e-mails.”

If You Are Not Sure, Ask

If you have any questions or are not sure which agreement is appropriate for your research situation, contact the NCI Technology Transfer Center office: 

Telephone: 301-845-5465


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