Archive for Technology Transfer

Universities, Technology Transfer – Keys to Innovation – Yes We Can

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by lmdiorio

A colleague of mine forwarded to me Sramana Mitra’s posting on Forbes.com entitled: Key to Innovation: Universities.  I couldn’t agree more!  My company partners with over 75 different Universities and Research Institutions nationally and internationally in the field of technology transfer.  We work with them on the commercialization strategies of the research and IP that come from their laboratories and classrooms.  This post is great way to sum up the value of innovation that comes from University research: entrepreneurship, industry creation, job creation and profits.  What needs to be done is better put in the posting here:

“First, the U.S. still can, and needs to, lead the innovation charge. Second, within the U.S., the technology transfer from university to industry via entrepreneurship needs to become much more widespread, spanning not just the elite schools but infiltrating the entire U.S. higher education system. Third, the U.S. needs to teach the rest of the world how to develop a strong innovation infrastructure that leads to commercialization, entrepreneurship, industry creation, job creation and all the other well-known benefits of a thriving economy.”

I only take one issue with one piece of information in the post – Ms. Mitra focuses on MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon as her examples of success stories (and 12 others).  In regards to innovation and commercialization – I’m afraid that people focus on those with the most popular names.  There are way more than 12 others.  Working with over 75 different Universities gives me insight into the true value of innovation and technology transfer.  Just because another University doesn’t start-up a Google or do 10 start-ups a year, doesn’t mean that it isn’t as successful as the bigger players.  Sometimes there is much more value in deal flow and cash flow where a technology transfer office (TTO) is not only able to sustain itself (keeping people employed) while offering additional revenue opportunities to the inventor and Universities and transfering the technology to the marketplace for development.  I digress for a moment because this post is still incredibly relevant and important but I do think people should stop and take a look at their alma maters and see what technologies have been commercialized from the research there – I think you would be surprised to see some blockbusters in places a bit unknown.

Nonetheless – University innovations are important in faciltating economic and scientific development for civilzation – especially now.  Support is needed to continue the innovation pipeline – whether it is the next Google, a new way to harness renewable energy, a new therapeutic for cancer or as simple as an educational tool for students to learn Chemistry – we can only benefit.  It should be a priority and better put by Ms. Mitra:

“The world that emerges from the ashes of this financial crisis needs to put innovation as a central priority. And in doing so, beefing up the government-industry-academia collaboration is critical.”

Even YouTube has a section on Innovation – and notice the Universities!

And with Easter coming up – a little Jelly Belly for you —