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Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer

Apr 20, 2017

Ross DeVol, Joe Lee, and Minoli Ratnatunga

Publisher: Milken Institute

Innovative activities – and their commercial applications – are driving long-term economic growth in America. While industry energizes innovation through research and development (R&D) initiatives, the main catalyst that fuels knowledge-based growth once again lies where it started: the American research university. As new, bi-directional information exchanges open up between academic and industry researchers – as opposed to past linear models – more commercially attuned knowledge exchange is shared, leading to a rise in entrepreneurial success and economic impact.

In the 21st century, public and private research universities are the seed capital for creating knowledge that fosters scientific- and technology-based economic development. Yet there are key underpinnings required to promote success in knowledge-based economic development: creating the highly-trained human capital that industry requires; and capitalizing on research by converting it for private-sector application. Creating human capital and conducting research, along with its efficiency as measured by output (patents, licenses executed, licensing income, and startups) relative to input (research expenditures), depict the production of good universities delivering on their mission.