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Students, employees, and professors at a research institution generally pledge that in the event they make some interesting, potentially money-making discovery, they’ll notify their institution’s tech transfer office.

This office can go by many different names; some are “technology licensing offices,” others will throw an “innovation” or “knowledge” in there for good measure. But they all serve similar purposes: to ensure the institution and the public will benefit from the intellectual property created under its auspices.

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