Outstanding Technology Transfer Professional Award

Outstanding Technology Transfer Professional Award

Bianca Thayer has made significant contributions to the transfer of technologies developed at Sandia National Laboratories in the last five years since becoming a Licensing Executive, after working 30 years in industry. Her extensive business experience has made her a very effective negotiator as she understands both industry and national lab perspectives. She has brought many new industry partnerships to Sandia, and transferred a wide range of technologies via licensing, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and other mechanisms.

As Intellectual Property Manager and Licensing Executive, Thayer handles diverse patented technologies and a wide range of software. For each of these technologies she has utilized the best mechanism to make the transfer between the lab and the industry partner successful. This could be a patent or copyright license, a Work for Others (WFO) Agreement or a CRADA or, in some cases, a combination of all three. Thayer has transferred technology to companies of all sizes, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies, as well as multinationals.

The largest and most innovative technology transfer Thayer has accomplished to date is with decontamination technology, which is Sandia's largest international patent portfolio, with 36 patents in over 21 countries. She started analyzing this portfolio in late 2012 and realized that the two small companies that had licenses were not fully utilizing the international patents or selling into many potential markets. Originally created for the mitigation of chemical and biological warfare agents, the decontamination chemistry's broad applicability allows it to be safely used in many consumer applications, such as mold remediation, cleaning of agricultural and healthcare facilities, and strong odor removal.

Thayer worked closely with a technical team to qualify companies that would be a good fit to commercialize the technology in various fields of use. She then negotiated seven new licenses in 2013 and 2014 to ensure that all of the markets in the U.S. would be covered. Four of the licensees first started working with the decontamination technology using a Test and Evaluation License, or a License Option Agreement. These were then converted to full commercial licenses after development milestones were met.

In addition to all of her licensing work, Thayer has made time to mentor the new licensing executives at Sandia, assisting them with crafting licenses and coaching them through delicate negotiations toward win-win outcomes. David Wick, Sandia Licensing Executive and Distinguished Member Technical Staff, said, "Bianca has been invaluable to my growth as a licensing executive. Although I had been involved in some tech transfer activities in my previous life as a researcher, I really had no idea of the intricacies involved, nor did I understand the unique and often opposing tensions inherent to licensing from a national laboratory. She took the time to help me grow into this position, and I am forever grateful."

Contact: Bianca Thayer, (925) 294-1214, bkthaye@sandia.gov

Award Year: 
Region: 
Mid-Continent