B. J. Zirger | College of Business, Anne Chasser | Technology Transfer and Commercialization; Dale Murray, IDSA | College of Design; Mary Beth Privitera, IDSA | College of Engineering; and Ann Welsh | College of Business, University of Cincinnati
Leveraging university intellectual property (IP) is increasingly critical for industry and academia. A study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) shows that industrial support of R&D has increased over the past decade, but new investment in basic research growth has flattened over the past few years (AAAS, 2007). To fill the basic research gap, industry is relying more on externally purchased or licensed technology (Thursby & Thursby, 2002). Universities are major engines of primary research and development largely funded by federal grants. The Bayh-Dole Act, passed in 1980, guarantees universities the rights to technologies and inventions discovered through these federally funded grants. Most agree that this act has spurred growth in higher education patenting and licensing, which are precursors to commercialization of new technology. With overall cutbacks in state higher education funding and record-setting student enrollments, intellectual property revenues are considered by many, perhaps inappropriately, as a potential solution to university budgeting woes. In this article we describe new organizational platforms for university–industry collaboration that we believe offer promise. These new approaches capitalize on industry’s interest and use of open innovation and provide a superior learning experience for students.