Redeploying Bayh-Dole: Beyond Merely Doing Good to Optimizing the Potential in Results of Taxpayer-Funded Research
John E. Tyler III
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
September 10, 2011
Journal of Technology Transfer, online first, 2011-09
Opinions about the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and its implementation by U.S. universities can depend on whether one views the Act as a series of tactics that are ends in themselves or as a policy declaration designed to protect the public against nonuse of taxpayer-funded discoveries and encourage their commercialization, utilization, and public availability. Those views appear to influence how universities and their leaders measure performance and define success, identify and allocate resources, approach transfer strategies, and negotiate terms and apportion risks relative to those terms. Those who view the Act as tactical tend to obscure the broader policy objectives which can result in substantial amounts of university research that is “never commercialized” (Council of Advisors, 2003), “restrained” (Schacht, 2010b), and “left unused and unapplied” (Seipmann, 2004). Society then is deprived of the new products, services, approaches and experiences that can stimulate economic growth and advance human welfare. These and other consequences demand evaluations and assessments of university practices and behaviors and the extent to which they narrowly serve the Act’s tactics or more broadly serve its purposes of pursuing and maximizing the potential usefulness of the results of taxpayer-funded research. Too frequently, there seems to be a disconnect between federal policy and practices adopted or tolerated by universities and their leaders to implement that policy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Bayh-Dole, university technology transfer, advancing university innovation, autm, nine points
JEL Classification: I20, I23, I28, O31, O38Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 8, 2011 ; Last revised: March 28, 2012
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