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Joseph Allen


Former President

National Technology Transfer Center

Joe Allen has been involved in crafting successful policies widely copied around the world promoting public/private sector commercialization partnerships. He created the consulting firm Joseph Allen and Associates in 2008 to further these efforts.

Joe served as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee with former Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN). Allen was the key staffer securing passage of the Bayh-Dole Act opening up collaborations between research universities and U.S. industry. The Economist Technology Quarterlycalled this law “possibly the most inspired piece of legislation to be enacted in America over the past half century.”

In 1999, the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) awarded Allen the prestigious Bayh-Dole Award for this achievement. In 2010, AUTM presented Joe with the Driving Innovation Award “For His Tireless Work and Support as a Champion for the Bayh-Dole Act During the Past 30 Years.”

Upon leaving the Senate staff, Joe became Executive Director of Intellectual Property Owners, Inc., a trade association representing major R&D companies. He was involved in the creation of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which helped restore confidence in the U.S. patent system after years of neglect.

Next, he served at the U.S. Department of Commerce as the Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization. He was instrumental in the passage of the Federal Technology Transfer Act allowing U.S. industry to perform cooperative R&D agreements (CRADAS) with federal laboratories. Allen’s office oversaw Executive branch implementation of technology transfer laws and related policy directives. He served as an intellectual property rights negotiator on major international agreements, including the U.S.-Japan Science and Technology Agreement.

From 1992 until 2004, Allen was with the National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC), becoming President in 1997. Clients included NASA, the Department of Defense, EPA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Commerce. He testified at several Congressional hearings, and was involved in passage of the Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 2000.

Between 2004 until 2007, Allen was the Vice President and General Manager of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium.

Allen testified before the South Africa parliament in 2008 as the lead witness on their version of the Bayh-Dole bill now enacted into law. Allen has written numerous articles on technology management for national publications, and now writes a monthly column for IP Watch Dog.

Recent Events and Presentations

March 25, 2021

March-In Rights for Federally Funded Inventions: A Primer

ITIF and the Bayh-Dole Coalition hosted a joint video webinar that will clarify the provision’s intent and explain once and for all how Bayh-Dole’s march-in right can and cannot be used.

April 23, 2020

Bayh-Dole and the Coronavirus Crisis

ITIF and the Bayh-Dole 40 Coalition hosted a video webinar delving into the critical role that partnerships between industry, academia, and federal labs will play in combating COVID-19, how these partnerships work, what risks they entail, why patents and licenses are so important in overcoming the risks inherent in developing drugs and vaccines, and how the Bayh-Dole Act enables the process for the benefit of people in the United States and around the world.

October 29, 2014

Next-Generation R&D Partnerships: The NCATS Success Story

Please join us for a panel discussion of the NCATS technology transfer model, successful case studies, and lessons learned for other government agencies.

January 28, 2014

Enhancing University-Industry R&D Partnerships

This panel discussion will examine university-industry partnership best practices and potential policy issues.

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