Technology Transfer: Promoting Public-Private Collaborations for Innovation

Patently BIOtech

BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood penned an op-ed for the September issue of BioPharm International on the importance of technology transfer from academia to industry, as encouraged by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980.

The Bayh-Dole Act, which permits and encourages industry to partner with research universities to turn federally-funded basic research into new and valuable products, is a critical factor in driving America’s innovation economy. Because of this legislation, the U.S. leads the world in commercializing university-based research to create new companies and good, high-paying jobs throughout the country.

A recent study commissioned by BIO examined university and nonprofit organization patent licensing between 1996 and 2010 and found that it indeed had a significant impact on the U.S. economy, supporting more than three million jobs while boosting US gross industry output by $836 billion.

In the op-ed, Jim states:

The ties between biotechnology and university research are critical. Most biotech companies license technologies from universities and many of the most prominent companies spun off campus. The continuation of this relationship—buttressed by a strong, dependable patent system—is essential to the biotech industry’s success in an increasingly competitive world market.

However, the federal government’s funding of basic research coupled with the incentives of the BayhDole Act creates only the potential for success. This potential is actually realized when private sector entrepreneurs take embryonic ideas and then invest years of their lives and billions of dollars in risk capital to transform academic concepts into commercially available therapies.

The upcoming BIO Technology Transfer Symposium will highlight recent and successful early-stage technology transfer deals with insight from academia, industry, a venture capital firm and a patient group. The Symposium will take place in San Francisco, CA on October 8thRegistration is free and available online.

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