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IMPACT: A Proposal for Realizing the Economic Potential of University Research

Krisztina Holly

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,

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Date posted: September 29, 2009 ; Last revised: May 1, 2013

Suggested Citation

Holly, Krisztina, IMPACT: A Proposal for Realizing the Economic Potential of University Research (August 3, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1480449 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1480449

Contact Information

Krisztina Holly (Contact Author)
University of Southern California ( email )
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
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