Tag Archives: Economic Development-Key Insights

Tracking Tech Transfer’s Indirect Metrics

As Laura Schoppe noted in her post about the key direct metrics for technology transfer offices (TTOs), there are important indirect metrics to track as well. These are factors that the TTO can influence, but others have more control over the ultimate outcome. Some feed into the early stages of the tech transfer pipeline in terms of the quantity and quality of invention disclosures. These indirect metrics also relate to economic development, which seems to be growing in importance every year. So, today’s post outlines the indirect metrics that are appropriate for various TTOs. Continue reading

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Innovation-to-Jobs Working Group Recommendations Released

McCrory_2015-01-16Since last summer, I’ve had the privilege to serve on North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s Innovation-to-Jobs (I2J) Working Group, whose recommendations were released by the governor 2 weeks ago. I share this with you today because (a) I’m proud of the hard work the group did and (b) our process and approach to developing an implementation plan might serve as a model for others seeking to extract more value from their state’s university R&D. The goal of the Innovation-to-Jobs Working Group was:… Continue reading

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Change the IRS’s “Private Use in Bonded Facilities” Regulation

IRS_iStock_000017797441SmallI wish to offer an answer to the RFI’s third Overarching Question: What specific actions can the Federal Government take to build and sustain U.S. strengths including its entrepreneurial culture, flexible labor markets, world-class research universities, strong regional innovation ecosystems, and large share of global venture capital investment? My answer: Change Section 6.02 of Revenue Procedure 2007-47 (from IRB 2007-29 issued on July 16, 2007) regarding corporate-sponsored research so as to better ensure that such innovative R&D occurs in U.S. universities rather than overseas. This change can serve as a no-cost solution that can have a positive impact on local/regional economies without creating a financial burden on the federal government or on U.S. taxpayers. Continue reading

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3 Metrics to Improve the Economy Your Tech Transfer Office Should Be Tracking

Welcome to the latest post in our “Metrics Monday” series. Today, I’m going to talk about some important metrics that most TTOs don’t track… but should. Why these metrics? Because these three metrics indicate whether your TTO is on the right path to achieving higher targets for your university’s government funding and industry sponsored research agreements (SRAs). And these targets will have a much bigger impact on the local economy than most startups will because they lead to hiring more staff that are high-salary jobs. Continue reading

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The Problem with Startup Metrics: Kicking Off the “Metrics Monday” Blog Series

iStock_000024202877SmallSeveral months ago, a read an article called “Are Universities Creating Too Many Biotech Startups?” At the time I thought: The question is not how many startups should a university do, but why are they doing them? Since then, I’ve seen more and more stories in the industry news about universities focusing heavily on startups, particularly within the context of job creation and helping the local economy. Not surprisingly, some of these efforts are emerging from state government and/or economic development agencies. I myself have been invited to participate on several panels and task forces related to this topic. Their recurring mantra has been: “We want to increase startups and licensing revenue.” My response always is:… Continue reading

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Thoughts from the White House’s Lab-to-Market Summit

Last week I had the distinct privilege of serving as a panelist for the Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit, sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Designed to obtain insights from experts in industry, academia, and finance about federal programs working to accelerate their labs’ rate of technology transfer, the discussion was productive and surprisingly candid. (Perhaps the latter begat the former!) I for one was encouraged by… Continue reading

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Insights, Best Practices on Tech Transfer, Startups at Portugal Meeting

Just before Christmas, I had the privilege of attending the annual conference of the University Technology Enterprise Network (UTEN), an organization dedicated to (in their words) “professionalizing and advancing science and technology commercialization in Portugal.” As the AUTM® vice president for Strategic Alliances, I was invited to participate on a panel discussing technology transfer networks. I have to say, it was an enlightening meeting, and the lessons learned and best practices shared have value beyond Portugal. So brace yourself: this is a long post, but there was lots of good information to share! Continue reading

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Commercializing Federally Funded Research: Paper Lays Out Roadmap

What’s the best way to get federally funded technologies out of university and federal labs and into the market? This is the big question of late, and it’s generating a lot of hubbub. Regardless of the merits of all of the initiatives, directives, and legislation, I think a key aspect is being overlooked. As any technology transfer office (TTO) can tell you, not every technology emerging from federal R&D spending will be the next Honeycrisp™ apple, implantable pacemaker, or Red Hat, Inc. But some do have the potential to launch new companies, improve or expand the product/service offerings of existing companies, create jobs, or otherwise positively impact the U.S. economy and/or provide humanitarian benefits. The question is: Which technologies? And, more importantly, how do TTOs find them and commercialize them efficiently? Continue reading

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Questions Raised by “Free Agency” Tech Transfer Provisions in Startup Act

There’s been a lot of discussion among universities and others about the inclusion of the “free agency” concept in Section 7 of the Moran–Warner Startup Act. This is the idea proposed by the Kauffman Foundation to allow professors to choose their own agents to help transfer their technology rather than be tied to their home university’s technology transfer office (TTO). This post is not about the merits of the idea. I’m writing this post to point out some key questions that need to be answered for such a plan to be realistically implemented. Continue reading

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A White House Meeting Revives Tech Transfer Recommendations

The White HouseYesterday I went to Washington with about two dozen other North Carolina small businesses to meet with several of our country’s legislative and executive leaders. It was a great opportunity—one that I hope will eventually lead to genuine action that supports the transition of innovations developed with federal funding into commercial applications. And I have a few ideas about how to do that. Continue reading

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