The Pratt School of Engineering at Duke and RTI International are joining forces to improve technology transfer from universities to the private sector.

The new program called TechEval will match students participating in Duke’s masters of engineering management program with business leaders and researchers. The team will evaluate technological developments in what Duke called “a practical, real-world environment”.

Each research effort will cover up to 14 weeks.

Assisting the program is Jesko von Windheim, entrepreneur in residence at RTI.

“The TechEval program is an exciting opportunity for our students to help researchers evaluate their research for its commercial potential,” said Jeff Glass, Duke’s masters of engineering management program director. “It enhances both our educational mission and our goals of societal impact for our research. It is a unique opportunity that I hope many of our faculty and graduate students take advantage of.”

The TechEval effort is already at work, meeting with professors, researchers, venture capitalists and consultants, Duke said.

“Researchers do not always have the time, resources and business connections to easily understand the value and impact of their innovation in the marketplace,” Windheim added. “As a result, many inventions never realize their market potential, or worse, an innovator spends too much time moving the technology in the wrong direction.

“The best investment an innovator can make is validating his or her
technology with real potential customers during the early stages of technology development. That is what we are doing at RTI and it is also the essence of what we do in the TechEval course.”


Masters Program: