Riccardo Pietrabissa got into tech transfer the old-fashioned way: he made a deal. The bioengineering professor and vice rector at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, started that university’s patent office when the payment for funding his experimental biomechanical laboratory came due.
“My transition to the tech transfer office started in 1998 when I was an assistant professor. I asked the rector for a grant to establish the lab,” said Pietrabissa, who is 53. “In 2001 the rector called and said he was happy with the lab, and reminded me I was in debt to him. He wanted to establish a patent office in the university, so I had to do that.”
That was a dramatic departure from his research on biomechanics to simulate parts of the human body such as portions of the cardiovascular system or a hip joint. But he embraced the challenge.
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Author: Lori Valigra