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Commercializing University Innovations: A Better Way

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  • Litan, Robert E.
  • Mitchell, Lesa
  • Reedy, E.J.

Abstract

With the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, the federal government explicitly endorsed the transfer of exclusive control over government-funded inventions to universities and businesses operating with federal contracts. While this legislation was intended to accelerate further development and commercialization of the ideas and inventions developed under federal contracts, the government did not provide any strategy, process, tools, or resources to shepherd innovations from the halls of academia into the commercial market. And more than twenty-five years later, it is clear that few universities have established an overall strategy to foster innovation, commercialization, and spillovers. Multiple pathways for university innovation exist and can be codified to provide broader access to innovation, allow a greater volume of deal flow, support standardization, and decrease the redundancy of innovation and the cycle time for commercialization. Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) were envisioned as gateways to facilitate the flow of innovation but have instead become gatekeepers that in many cases constrain the flow of inventions and frustrate faculty, entrepreneurs, and industry. The proposed changes focus on creating incentives that will maximize social benefit from the existing investments being made in R&D and commercialization on university campuses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 449.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:449

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References

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  1. Markman, Gideon D. & Phan, Phillip H. & Balkin, David B. & Gianiodis, Peter T., 2005. "Entrepreneurship and university-based technology transfer," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 241-263, March.
  2. Phan, Phillip H. & Siegel, Donald S., 2006. "The Effectiveness of University Technology Transfer," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 77-144, November.
  3. Coupe, Tom, 2003. " Science Is Golden: Academic R&D and University Patents," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 31-46, January.
  4. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
  5. Goldfarb, Brent & Henrekson, Magnus, 2003. "Bottom-up versus top-down policies towards the commercialization of university intellectual property," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 639-658, April.
  6. Markman, Gideon D. & Gianiodis, Peter T. & Phan, Phillip H. & Balkin, David B., 2005. "Innovation speed: Transferring university technology to market," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1058-1075, September.
  7. Jensen, Richard A. & Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2003. "Disclosure and licensing of University inventions: 'The best we can do with the s**t we get to work with'," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1271-1300, November.
  8. Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. " Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Braunerhjelm, Pontus, 2007. "Academic Entrepreneurship - social norms, university culture and policies," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 100, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  2. Harvey Goldstein, 2010. "The ‘entrepreneurial turn’ and regional economic development mission of universities," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 83-109, February.
  3. Harvey Goldstein & Edward Bergman & Gunther Maier, 2011. "Comparing U.S. and European Views of University Involvement in Economic Development," ERSA conference papers ersa11p301, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Attila György, 2011. "Knowledge From Research As A Quasi-Public Good," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 2, pages 56-62, May.
  5. Staffan Jacobsson & Asa Lindholm Dahlstrand & Lennart Elg, 2011. "Is the commercialisation of European academic R&D weak? - a critical assessment of a ‘dominant belief’ and associated policy responses," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1603, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Jacobsson, Staffan & Lindholm-Dahlstrand, Åsa & Elg, Lennart, 2013. "Is the commercialization of European academic R&D weak?—A critical assessment of a dominant belief and associated policy responses," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 874-885.

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