Mary Albertson Named Director for Technology Licensing at Georgia Tech

Mary Albertson has stepped into the director role for the Office of Technology Licensing at Georgia Tech, managing all inventions, patents, and licensing.

A veteran technology transfer professional, Albertson will direct and advance the Institute’s comprehensive programs for developing and commercializing intellectual property created by the Institute’s researchers, including innovations emerging from more than $1.27 billion in annual research grants and contracts. She was selected for her new role following a national search.

Albertson joins Tech from the University of Utah, where she served as senior director of Commercialization. She was a catalyst for regional innovation and directed invention management and patent and licensing affairs, including support for the formation of start-up ventures. The operation evaluated more than 200 invention disclosures annually and generated more than $118 million in licensing revenue from 1,077 technologies.

“Our Office of Technology Licensing is the gateway to transfer technologies developed within our labs out into the real world,” said Raghupathy “Siva” Sivakumar, chief commercialization officer and vice president of Commercialization at Georgia Tech. “Partnering with the other commercialization entities on campus, I anticipate that office, with Mary’s leadership and vision, will redefine the way commercialization is done on academic campuses.”

Georgia Tech’s research program has doubled in the past decade, measured by Institute expenditures supporting research and the dollar value of grants and contracts supporting new research. Innovations emerging from Georgia Tech’s portfolio are patented and licensed to entities around the globe. Some of the innovations become new ventures through licensing agreements, including metro Atlanta-headquartered Pindrop and Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ: CLSD). Sila Nanotechnologies, headquartered in Alameda, California, is another Georgia Tech technology transfer startup that is dramatically improving batteries and energy storage.

Georgia Tech’s research and commercialization resources are important factors in Atlanta's regional and state-wide economic and business development success. The region has a distinction of concentrated public and private research universities that regularly work together to support innovation and commercialization via licensing.

As director, Albertson will drive value and service for faculty, market available innovations, guide policy, including royalty distribution, and nurture regional and worldwide relationships with collaborators and licensees. Guided by the Research Next strategic plan, the office plans to increase capacity by 80%. It will also recruit additional licensing associates to support faculty and the increasing volume of research and invention disclosures.

From 1992 until 2019, Albertson had progressive responsibilities at Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing, from senior licensing associate to associate director of operations. During Albertson’s tenure, Stanford University’s licensing affairs supported the PageRank Algorithm; multi-tone modulation that advanced DSL and other high-speed internet access; targeted therapies for ovarian cancer; battery solutions; artificial skin; and DNA microarray technology used for large-scale studies of gene expression.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from the University of California at Davis. She is an active member and past president of AUTM, the international association for university technology transfer professionals. She was honored in 2015 with the AUTM President’s Award for outstanding and lasting volunteer efforts.

She is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) and Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP).

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Written by Andy Howard