Close enough but not too far: Assessing the effects of university-industry research relationships and the rise of academic capitalism
Analysts assessing the impact of university-industry research relations (UIRRs) and increasing proprietary behavior on the part of universities often focus on single-indicators or adopt promotional or critical stances. However, assessing impacts of shifts toward a more proprietary university is inherently complex because of potential countervailing or mediating factors within working relationships. From interviews with 84 biological scientists at nine universities we find scientists view UIRRS and university intellectual property (IP) policies in complex and often conflicting ways. For example, university scientists believe UIRRs are valuable for increasing contact with scientists, but are problematic because working with industry can restrict communication among scientists. Also scientists believe university IP policies should shield their work from opportunistic behavior and at the same time be designed to attract industry partners. In addition scientists believe universities use their IP policies primarily as revenue raising vehicles and secondarily to address public good issues such as technology transfer.
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