National technology study shows universities are accelerators for new business and job growth


Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut released a study conducted for the state that has far-reaching implications for national job growth, economic development and education. The study examined successful university-based technology transfer and commercialization initiatives throughout the U.S.

The report Accelerating Economic Development Through University Technology Transfer shows research universities as economic accelerators that increasingly generate patents and commercial licenses, and are an important source of new technology companies. The study shows Stanford University as an economic powerhouse, annually filing more than 300 patents and producing companies such as Google, Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, Netscape, Cisco Systems and Yahoo. The study also shows MIT as an engine for technology growth, each year generating 150 or more businesses that are in some way related to the Institute.

Lita Nelsen, Director of the Technology Licensing Office at MIT said "the most important factor in MIT's success is its strong research base the pipeline for our technology transfer has primarily been basic research funded by the federal government." Katharine Ku, Director of the Technology Licensing Office at Stanford also noted the importance of federal funded research to the University's licensing activities. The study's author, Diane Palmintera, commented "given the importance of federal funding, there is cause for concern since the President's proposed research and development portfolio of the FY 2006 federal budget falls short of the increase needed to keep pace with inflation."

The report notes several factors that help states position their universities as centers of innovation and business growth, including strong academic leadership and research capabilities, availability of early-stage capital, commitment to and support of entrepreneurship programs, and the existence of infrastructure such as innovation centers, incubators and research parks.

The study found other universities successful in generating licenses and new business start-ups included: University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-San Diego, Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Washington University (St. Louis).

The study was conducted by Innovation Associates Inc. of Reston, VA on behalf of the Connecticut Technology Transfer and Commercialization Advisory Board of the Governor's Competitiveness Council.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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