Summary: Whereas men sought advice from their often
broad-reaching networks, women frequently
depended on close relationships with male
collaborators to initiate the patenting process.
Formal institutional sponsorship was also par-
ticularly important for women. Many women
commented that their TTO provided industry
contacts, advice, and encouragement to develop
the commercial aspects of their research.
Our interviews also exposed differences
between older and younger women scientists.
Most senior female faculty we met perceived
themselves as being excluded from industry
relationships and therefore failed to develop an
understanding of how commercial science
works. Few made the transition to patenting.
Some of the younger (but tenured) female life
scientists had begun to incorporate patenting
into their research strategy. Nonetheless, many
still felt at a disadvantage to their male col-