LSU retirees Andrew Maas.jpg

Andrew Maas, an expert in technology commercialization, was the guest speaker at the Oct. 14 meeting of the LSU Faculty and Staff Retirees Club. From left are Judy Koonce, Pat Carter, Maas, Barbara Brown and Pat Triche.

Andrew Maas, an LSU associate vice president who specializes in technology commercialization, discussed how to write a patent proposal that works during the Oct. 14 meeting of the LSU Faculty and Staff Retirees Club.

Patent royalties can mean big bucks for universities, but typically only three out of every 100 patent applications become licensed. That figure could be higher, according to Maas, an expert on developing successful grants. 

“A patent proposal may be good science, and it may be published, but if it lacks a commercial application, its chances of funding are slim,” Maas said. Instead, Maas advises scientists to ask themselves, “What is the business impact of my analytical studies?” He tells them to “think like an entrepreneur.” He noted that businesses are eager to back a proposal if they see it benefiting them.

Maas also addressed the red tape that universities are known for imposing. His streamlining efforts have already brought positive results with seven licensed patents.

Patents have yielded millions of dollars over the years for LSU. Currently, more than 40 active licenses bring in nearly $1 million annually to the main campus. One notable success story is Clearfield rice, which is planted worldwide.

Refreshments were provided by Mary Adcock, Patti Exner, Judy Lithgoe and Robin Montgomery. The LSU retirees club holds meetings, tours and social events through the academic year and is open to all retirees and their spouses. Contact lsu.faculty.staff.ret.club@gmail.com.