program.  Many highly trained scientists with advanced academic degrees and excellent scientific credentials have been displaced in recent years.  Through ForwardTrackTM, qualified senior-level research scientists locate at, or closely associate with, the PDDI and are mentored in developing research plans and R&D teams.  Researchers affiliated with the PDDI are given career development advice and assistance, especially regarding forming collaborations, accessing federal and other funding, and in creating their own start-up biotechnology companies.  On a periodic basis, the PDDI sponsors the Outreach Seminar SeriesTM, in which 1-3 program participants orally present on their significant research achievements to an audience consisting of senior members of the facility.

At the PDDI, we take advantage of the immense talent pool in our region, of individuals with industry experience, and have created an expert’s list of highly-qualified reviewers and mentors separated by discipline to evaluate basic discoveries at academic and nonprofit institutions using an industry-standard due diligence review process.  We use this list in matching experts in appropriate disciplines with others as required to create project teams that are most likely to succeed.  Many professors and principal investigators are conducting important basic research, but do not have the expertise required for the applied value-added experiments and studies needed prior to generating commercial interest.  We provide advice on project flowchart design and the interpretation of data.  Finally, we may recommend the creation of one or more associated spin-off companies which could add value to the technology and create new jobs and expertise.

Knowledge-based community. One of the strengths of PABIO is that it offers a knowledge-based community consisting of an active seminar program, journal clubs, and sharing of information and equipment.  The PDDI extends this spirit of collaboration into the applied arena of drug discovery research.  We grant faculty appointments in the PDDI based on scientific credentials and demonstrated accomplishments in relevant and complementary fields of study.  We sponsor an active seminar program and drug discovery journal club at PABIO during the course of the year to enhance the already vibrant atmosphere.  The PDDI sponsors an annual award event and lecture, which was inaugurated in 2011.  The PDDI faculty members provide consulting services, on request, to members of the PDDI Associate Network (see PDDI Associates).

Processing of donations of cash and in-kind assets. The PDDI is a 501(c)3-designated charity, which means that donations may be tax deductible to the donor, individuals and companies.  The PDDI welcomes matching-gift donations from major companies with such programs and appreciates receiving corporate donations, as well.  For convenience, cash donations can be received via a PayPal mechanism on the PDDI website.  The largest donations that we have received thus far are in-kind contributions, such as laboratory consumables and equipment, from organizations on account of their facilities being downsized or closed.  We have established a PDDI Board-approved process whereby such donations are accepted after review of their suitability.  The PDDI then provides a physical location for their archiving and curation, to make these resources available to various organizations.  Small biotechnology companies, nonprofit research institutions, and universities can come to the PABIO and acquire materials for their use, assuming all ownership and liability, according to certain common-sense guidelines.  This program has proven to be tremendously popular with research institutions located both at the PABIO and regionally.  We have received two separate donations of approximately 6,000 chemical starting materials and reagents  from pharmaceutical companies, bar-coded for easy access and searching via Excel-based programs.  In addition, we have received >60 boxes of glassware and other consumables that would be valued at >$1 million if purchased new.  At many companies experiencing downsizing, these assets would be discarded such as by being sent to an incinerator.  Such disposition of assets could be viewed as very wasteful, so the PDDI steps in to rectify this situation by promoting the re-use of such assets, as part of its mission as a nonprofit organization that promotes entrepreneurship and biomedical research for the public good.

Chemical compounds and laboratory equipment.  The PDDI has received and processed in-kind donations of reagents, glassware, research equipment, and consumables from for-profit pharmaceutical companies as they downsize. These resources are available free of charge to small biotechnology companies and academic institutions, that share the general mission and focus of the PDDI. Namely:

  • PDDI Affiliates in the general geographic region of southeastern Pennsylvania. A PDDI Affiliate is an organization that shares a common purpose with the PDDI of technology transfer and innovation in the area of biomedical research. PDDI Affiliates must agree to be listed as such on PDDI promotional materials. PDDI Affiliate designation is free (no charge) for organizations with <500 employees (NIH small business designation).

  • Educational institutions in the general geographic area who are not formally PDDI Affiliates.

Terms and Conditions. Recipients need to sign a form when they take these donations, thereby assuming full and complete ownership on receipt. So, recipient accepts transfer of the material/equipment/property and agrees to release from liability and hold harmless and to indemnify the PDDI, its volunteers, employees, and agents. This release is for any and all liability for personal injuries (including death) and property losses or damage occasioned by, or in connection with any use of this material, equipment, or property. The recipient assumes all responsibility for risk of loss, damage, injuries, illness, or otherwise arising out of use. The recipient reviews the terms and conditions and accepts full responsibility, coverage and liability. Contact Jennifer Halgas by email or at 215-589-6416 for more information.

Study of best practices in the commercialization of university research. We are studying the changing face of innovation in biomedical research, not because we are expert in public health policy or any other way, but because we can thereby better adapt ourselves to the changing landscapes of early proof-of-concept research and funding opportunities.  We have engaged several groups comprised of senior postdoctoral fellows and other researchers from the Philadelphia area as part of the Penn Biotech Group to assist the study of technology transfer. PDDI faculty edit the twice yearly publication Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship.