Information for Inventors


The Research Foundation works collaboratively with members of the research and innovation community at The State University of New York (SUNY) to translate academic discoveries, inventions and works of authorship (including software) into commercial products and services that benefit society.  It’s never too early to speak to a technology transfer professional about your idea.  If you are a member of the SUNY research community and have a new discovery, please follow the instructions here to submit your disclosure.


Technology Transfer Process

The graphic below depicts the technology transfer process in its most basic form. At every step of the way around this circle, your technology transfer professional works collaboratively with you, industry partners, and other collaborators to promote public use of your invention. For more information on the Technology Transfer Process please watch this video, Tech Transfer Basics.



Discovery: It all starts with you!  In the Technology Transfer Process, discoveries may include research findings, inventions, plant varieties and cultivars, designs for objects, products or packaging, and works of authorship such as software, databases, manuals, training materials and other creative expressions or collections of information.  If you’re not sure whether you have a discovery with commercial potential, some general indicators include:

  • Your discovery solves an important scientific, social or environmental problem
  • You believe that your discovery has a market application or commercial value
  • Your research is in the hard sciences
  • You develop software, apps, training materials, or curricula
  • You engage in creative activities in the humanities like music or art 



To Submit a Disclosure:  

Are you a member of the SUNY research and innovation community at one of the following campses?

  If yes, please click on the name of your campus and you’ll be directed to your local technology transfer office website, where you’ll find contact information for your campus technology transfer professionals and instructions on how to submit a disclosure.

  If no, please submit your disclosure using the SUNY Inventor Portal. The SUNY Inventor Portal allows you to submit invention disclosures electronically – making the disclosure process simple and quick. The SUNY Inventor Portal allows you to follow your disclosures through the Technology Transfer Process.

If you have any questions regarding the SUNY Inventor Portal or how to engage with a SUNY technology transfer professional, please do not hesitate to call (518) 434-7061 or email and an expert will be in touch.


Evaluation: During evaluation, your technology transfer professional will assess the market opportunity for your discovery, invention, software app or other work of authorship, and evaluate the mechanisms available to protect your intellectual property.  Above all else, this process is a collaborative effort between you and your technology transfer professional. 

Goal: The creation of a Market Opportunity Assessment for your discovery.  Depending on your campus, this assessment will have different forms. 

Intellectual Property Protection: Intellectual property (IP) protection is the step in the process when you and your technology transfer professional develop an IP protection strategy for your innovation. This is often achieved through patents. However, the outcome of this step is highly variable, based on the type of discovery you disclose and the information found during the evaluation process. 

Goal:  The development of an intellectual property protection strategy that is implemented by your technology transfer office to ensure that your discovery is protected and secure. 

Customer Discovery: Customer Discover is conducting interviews with industry experts, potential partners and customers to determine whether a viable business model and commercialization plan can be formulated for products or services based on your discovery.  

Goal: The identification of potential customers or end-users and the development of a value proposition and business model for your discovery using tools such as the Lean Canvas

Marketing: This step is where your technology transfer office focuses on promoting your invention with the aim of developing relationships with partners to assist in further development or licensing of your technology. 

Goal: The identification of commercialization and development partners that will translate your discovery into a commercial product or service. 

Partnering: Partnering can take many forms, such as sponsored research or licensing.  When you first disclose your technology and pursue intellectual property protection, it is typically still very early stage and will require additional funding from outside partners to develop it to a higher level of technological maturity and bring it closer to a commercial ready product or service.  

Goal: The establishment of long-term relationships with commercialization and development partners. 

Product Development: Once a partner is on board, they take on large scale development which generally occurs outside the university, often with some support from the inventors. 

Goal:  Collaborate with a partner to assist them in further developing your discovery into a product or service that will be sold. 

Public Use: The process comes full circle at this step, and products and services based on your discovery are now publicly available. Now, the campus and inventors are able to realize their long-term investment through sharing of revenues, generated by sales of products and services based on the discovery that you made during the very first step of this process. 

Goal:  The introduction of new and enhanced products and services to the market.


For questions, please contact or call 518-434-7061 and a member of our team will assist you.


Helpful Links:

SUNY Patents and Inventions Policy