On March 8th and April 14th of 2021, members of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) community convened two virtual writing workshops with open hardware practitioners and technology transfer officers to discuss the potential of open hardware for Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) (you can read more about these workshops in a blog post here). This policy brief is the culmination of these discussions, highlighting how open hardware provides opportunities for TTOs outside of the current patent-and-license model and characterizing what is needed in order to support the adoption of open hardware by TTOs.
1. Open hardware provides an opportunity for Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) at universities to exploit the potential of existing academic outputs that do not fit in the current patent-and-licence technology transfer paradigm.
2. It is possible for TTOs to adopt open hardware as part of their technology transfer toolbox today.
3. As seen with the response to the COVID-19 crisis, open hardware accelerates innovation, opening up the possibility of new multi-scale partnerships with stakeholders in industry, civil society and government.
4. The open hardware community can work with TTOs on strategies to facilitate this transition, including the development of dedicated training materials and activities, fostering connections between TTOs, and identifying community champions at universities that can serve as focal points.