Monday, May 20, 2013

Strategic GPS: Where we’re heading toward an open, competitive licensing system for university innovators

Over the last few years, experts in our field have been debating ways to create “A Faster Path from Lab to Market” (from the title of Litan and Mitchell’s article in Harvard Business Review).

Increasingly, universities and federal labs are accelerating the dissemination of their innovation through commercialization activities—particularly the licensing of discoveries by faculty members either to existing firms or to companies they form. Some have argued whether commercialization should be a university function at all, since they believe that universities exist to further the creation of new basic knowledge – not to engage in commercialization.

Based on this view, they worry that commercial activities distract faculty from more fundamental research and their instructional activities. Moreover, it is occasionally claimed that commercialization can warp the values and culture of the university, its faculty and its leaders.

In my work with Bioscience Bridge, I believe creative thinking alone cannot promote medical advancement unless it is applied to real-world scientific problems and challenges.

And this spreading of ideas is regularly best accomplished when an innovation is commercialized. This gives the innovation the infusion of human and financial capital that enables innovations to scale up.

Bioscience Bridge is a technology transfer agency represents leading universities and their tech transfer offices. We connect partners to in-license life science discoveries and medical inventions for development into new products, applications, or services.

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