Thursday, May 23, 2013

Strategic GPS: Where is the regional impact of licensing of university innovation

In other recent posts, I’ve been sharing some views on “A Faster Path from Lab to Market” (from the title of a Harvard Business Review article).

As universities and federal labs step up the commercialization of their innovations through tech transfer, the discoveries by faculty members often create “star scientists.”

Beyond the impact of star scientists on specific universities or firms, there are many regional benefits.

Kauffman Foundation researchers Robert Litan and Dane Stangler write that the mere existence of star scientists in a given region has a propensity to increase the number of technology startups in the area.”

In part, this positive impact flows from scientists working directly with businesses. In addition, the “star power” these scientists bring to their enterprises help develop an ecosystem—other scientists and professionals, as well as skilled workers—around the firms they help create. This ecosystem makes it easier for other entrepreneurs with their own ideas to launch new ventures, creating a virtuous circle of development.

It is in this way that regions can develop into hubs of new technology, ventures and ideas. Examples given by the Kauffman Foundation include: Silicon Valley with Stanford and Berkeley, Austin (University of Texas), Boulder (University of Colorado), San Diego (UC San Diego), Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State), and Seattle (where the local university, Washington, has been important, but not the critical ingredient to that area’s entrepreneurial success).

When I work with early-stage technologies through Bioscience Bridge, we use a proven process designed to configure the technologies’ “road map” called Strategic GPS® Navigation Process. This process:
  • Identifies the key targets
  • Articulates the current situation (Where we are)
  • Defines the desired objective (Where we want to be) 
  • Conveys the over-arching strategy
  • Delineates the milestones
  • Outlines the key tactics

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