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.