Honors Gallery

2010 Outstanding Technology Transfer Professional Mid-Atlantic

Award: Outstanding Technology Transfer Professional

Year: 2010

Award Type:



Dr. Richard Brenner oversees and manages the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). In this capacity, he represents the Secretary of Agriculture on issues pertaining to the management of intellectual property arising from USDA research, and he has the delegated authority for licensing inventions developed through intramural research in any of the USDA agencies.

Dr. Brenner provides leadership and the structure for ARS-OTT, which is centralized in policy and procedures but maintains 100 locations nationwide to provide one-on-one customer service to ARS researchers. From technology transfer coordinators to patent advisors to licensing specialists, he has first-line and secondary supervisory authority over these professionals and is involved daily in issues that directly affect the technology transfer process. During FY 2009, the organization that Dr. Brenner oversees signed 69 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), bringing the total of active CRADAs to well over 200, with revenues of more than $6.3 million. During this same period, ARS-OTT filed 117 patent applications and received 21 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in addition to signing 25 license agreements.

Another of Dr. Brenner’s accomplishments was establishing the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership (ATIP) program to facilitate the adoption by private-sector companies of ARS research outcomes for the commercial production of goods and services. In launching ATIP, Dr. Brenner felt it essential to have a strong founding member, and so he turned to the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO). He then continued to expand ATIP by selecting members based on geographic region and their ability to serve small businesses by providing assets complementary to ARS research and innovation capacities. The additional ATIP membership now includes the Mississippi Technology Alliance, Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, and National Association of Seed and Venture Funds.

The ATIP program has been successful in transferring ARS technology to the private sector, with seven affiliates (companies that have either licensed ARS technology or entered into a CRADA) established. One of these affiliates, CrispTek, licensed an ARS technology involving a rice flour-based batter that has resulted in product sales