How Universities can become the flywheel for economic growth
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From the Classroom to the Boardroom:
How Universities can become the flywheel for economic growth

By Tammy D'Amato and Lindsey Gilroy and Scott Oldach of Patent Board™

Research Universities are a great example of the saying that money never starts an idea, but it is an idea that starts the money.  What starts out as a great idea in the classroom or the research lab can spell big business for universities and lead to economic growth for local communities.  Particularly in today’s knowledge economy, Research Universities need to take a role in commercializing their scientific and technological innovation.  For Universities to fulfill this role, though, they will need to become savvy about the value of their intellectual property and emphasize patenting as a necessary by-product of their research.

While Professors have been patenting their innovations for over a century, it has only been in the past few decades that universities have begun to view such intellectual property as valuable sources of revenue.  In 1980, the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act allowed universities to retain the rights to patents that resulted from federally-funded research, with the stated purpose to encourage the wider dissemination of innovation for the public’s benefit.  The idea was that the government funding of research can stimulate economic development.  The Bayh-Dole Act gave universities not just permission, but also incentive to actively pursue the licensing of their technological innovations.  Patents bring direct revenue to universities through licensing, but they also foster ...

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