Bayh Dole Act a failure?

Patently BIOtech

By Guest Writer Joseph Allen

One hotly debated topic in Washington of real importance to the biotechnology community is how well the annual multi-billion dollar federal investment in R&D is being translated into new products, jobs and companies needed to improve the lives of US taxpayers and help pull the US economy out of its current doldrums.  An interesting insight on the debate is captured in a Washington Post article “Innovation’s golden opportunity” that ran on June 10 by Vivek Wadhwa, and the response by Association of University Technology Manager’s President Robin Rasor.  Vivek argues that the current system established under the Bayh-Dole Act has obviously failed as measured by a division of the amount the federal government spends on extramural research by the licensing income realized by universities.  Rasor’s reply that such a superficial view, if acted upon, would have catastrophic consequences for American innovation.

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One Response to Bayh Dole Act a failure?

  1. The rate of patenting and commercialization is not the only pertinent criterion in evaluating the Bayh-Dole Act. The increased engagement of the university research community in addressing current technological and medical issues is valuable in itself, particularly since mega-corporations tend to skimp on R&D in favor of marketing. Of course, not every research project undertaken will result in a new blockbuster drug, but perhaps that shouldn’t be the main focus. Some of the increased research will undoubtedly increase our store of scientific knowledge, and that in itself is worthwhile.

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