Bridging Academic Inventors—TTO Managers Schism: The Lean Canvas for Invention

  • Arabella BhuttoEmail author
  • Cynthia Furse
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 43)


The aim of this paper is to bridge knowledge asymmetries between academic inventors and professionals of the technology transfer offices (TTO) by developing a tool—Lean Canvas for Invention (LCI). This tool is to educate academic inventors for incorporating the integral pre-commercialization components such as involvement of stakeholders, patent literature and market review in research proposals. This information has the potential to improve quality of invention disclosures to TTO and to increase chances of commercialization. This paper through interviews explores challenges (Cn) of TTO professionals and proposes solutions (Sn). As inventions disclosed, TTO managers initiate a technology transfer process and explore for patentability and market. If such aspects are considered by academic inventors, at the earlier stage of research process, chances of commercialization strengthen. The Cn and Sn are then adopted to develop an educational tool—LCI, to bridge the knowledge schism and improve the quality of invention disclosures. Cn and Sn are clustered with respect to five components and six sub-components, each with respective checklist required for writing a research proposal for invention. Evaluation of LCI by TTO at the University of Utah for “Acceptability”, “Usability” and “Guidance” is given. Feedback from TTO directors, TTO managers and academic inventors helped in development of a pre-commercialization research development tool—LCI. Based on findings and analyses, this paper validates the utility of the LCI as guidance for academic inventors to improve alignment of inventions with the technology transfer process.


Technology transfer office Entrepreneurial university Academic inventors Knowledge asymmetries Lean canvas for invention 



The paper is part of the postdoc research held at University of Utah and funded by Ministry of Education, Sindh for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, Pakistan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TVCUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.ECEUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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