A key rationale articulated by the Saxon Commission in 1989 for the creation of the five-campus UMass system was the need for Massachusetts to build a world-class public university to meet the challenges of economic change in the global, technology-intensive economy.

The Economic Development Department in the Office of the President was created in 1993 as part of the initial organization of the five-campus system. It is believed to be the first office of its type created at a major state university system in the United States.  It serves as a vehicle to promote and coordinate the University‘s role as a resource for economic development and for building alliances with industry, government and academia in the Commonwealth.

Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures (OTCV)

The OTCV's mission is to commercialize the University's research results for the benefit of both the University and society. The office also supports the economic development initiatives of the University through company formation and job creation, and thereby helps maintain the Commonwealth's position as a leading developer of cutting-edge technologies.

We evaluate new University technologies, seek and manage patents and other protections, identify potential licensing partners, and negotiate licensing agreements. The office also invests in our technology through our  proof of concept fund and supports startups through our  programs of education, mentoring and investment. The revenues generated from technology commercialization are used for the continued financial support of faculty research activities.

Commercialization Resources

Carl Rust
Executive Director of Industry Engagement and Business Development

If you’re planning to start up a company based on your ideas or research, it’s critical that you take the necessary steps to protect your ideas by seeking patents, copyrights, or other available means. In this section, you’ll find a Tutorial providing some basic information about this process.


Review a brief invention tutorial presentation, which explains how to begin the process of protecting an invention and the options available to do so.

Even after you’ve taken steps to protect your ideas there’s a lot more work to be done to set up a new company to develop and sell products. The necessary actions may take you far afield from traditional academic activities. In this section you’ll find a Tutorial that outlines some of the key first steps needed to form and finance a start-up company.


Review a brief start-up company tutorial presentation, which includes guidance and some useful tips for how to begin setting up a start-up company.

Related UMass Policies

The UMass Board of Trustees has approved several policies that address commercializing intellectual properties and distribution of income from any result; faculty consulting and outside activities; and conflicts of interest relating to intellectual property. Visit the Board of Trustees policy page on the President’s Office website for a full listing of academic policies.