IMPACT: A Proposal for Realizing the Economic Potential of University Research
University of Southern California
August 3, 2009
University research has formed the foundation for many of the most significant U.S. technological advancements. However, many more ideas are left on the shelves and in the laboratories of academe, waiting to be discovered. Although thousands of university innovations have been transformed into startups and new products in the last three decades, there exists an even greater opportunity for economic and societal impact through ideas generated at major research universities.
This white paper proposes an approach for the United States federal government to accelerate and make accessible the great potential from the breakthrough innovations arising from academic research. This pilot initiative would invest a small amount of federal funding to coax existing research results into the U.S. commercial marketplace through ten local demonstration sites.
Funding would equal $2 million per year, per university, for five years. These local sites would nurture a culture of entrepreneurship within each university, create and enhance the innovation ecosystem around each university, and provide the resources necessary for researchers to effectively translate their ideas into societal impact. The three key components of each program would be: gap funding, community-building, and mentoring and education, though other aspects are welcome. The results would be measurable, reproducible, and scaleable.
Ultimately, a successful demonstration program would lead to a Phase II where the program is institutionalized on a wider scale across the country, successfully accelerating existing efforts to turn university research into economic and societal impacts in the form of innovations that improve the lives of American citizens.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: innovation, commercialization, universities, research, translational research, gap funding, venture capital, region, economic development, mentoring, entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, societal impact, metrics, policy, government, technology, pilot, demonstration, valley of death, startup, spin-off
JEL Classification: D23, E22, G24, H52, I22, I28, J24, L31, M13, O10,working papers series
Date posted: September 29, 2009 ; Last revised: May 1, 2013
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