Universities that succeed at technology transfer and commercialization include both public and private universities. They are spread across the country; 13 of the top 25 universities are based in red states, all are in major metropolitan areas, and all range in size. These universities can be leveraged to boost and spread middle class job creation in their home states. While innovation is not confined to blue states, blue states have been more successful in leveraging university research for economic benefit.
University research funding can support the creation of both middle- and high-skill industry jobs through innovation, commercialization, and technology transfer. As products and services are created and licensed, there are a myriad of multiplier impacts felt across the economy.
Universities are a source of competitive advantage; they create a skilled workforce and through R&D and tech-transfer help create new technologies and new industries.
Universities that lead the Milken Institute’s University Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index actively promote tech-transfer, allowing other universities to learn from their strategies. The below articulates the Milken Institute’s recommendations based on our recent findings:
• maintain basic scientific research funding. Basic research provides long term economic benefits by allowing universities to take on research that has a low probability of quick commercial success, but potential to deliver a high reward and to create whole new industries.
• incentivize technology transfer through a new federal commercialization fund. The federal government should increase research funding under a special commercialization pool. Universities demonstrating greater commercialization success in the market should receive higher funding in this program.
• increase technology transfer capacity through federal matching grants. The federal government should commence a matching grant program with states to fund an increase in staff and resources in TTOs. Higher rates of academic entrepreneurship are essential to reviving declining startup rates and productivity across the economy. New firms have higher productivity as they are at the cutting edge of technology.
• increase technology transfer efficiency by adopting best practices. At the state level, policies should be implemented that incentivize the adoption of best practices in commercialization at public universities, including TTOs. Efficiency gaps between universities outside of the top 25 in our Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index should be narrowed.
The Report ranks 225 universities and is available, here. The Report specifically describes the attributes of some successful universities and includes a case study on life sciences. [Hat Tip to Glen Gardner]
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