J&J has been moving quickly the past few months on a new initiative to help biotech startups get up and running…
“Johnson & Johnson’s West Coast research leader, Diego Miralles, has met with a lot of biotech entrepreneurs who are curious about what J&J is doing to foster more startups at its facility in San Diego. At some point, a skeptical question usually comes up.
“What’s the catch?” Miralles says he’s sometimes asked.
He insists there isn’t any catch.
“We are genuinely trying to help the industry,” Miralles said last week in a meeting at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. “We think helping the biotech industry helps us. We strongly believe that a rising tide lifts all ships.”
J&J (NYSE: JNJ), which is based in New Brunswick, NJ, has been moving quickly the past few months on a new initiative to help biotech startups get up and running, through its new 30,000 square foot Janssen Labs startup space on the Torrey Pines Mesa. As Bruce first reported here in October, the idea is to create a space at J&J’s facility where 18-20 fledgling companies can get modern lab space, supplies, professional facilities management, and equipment that is supposed to free up the entrepreneurs to focus more on their science…”
Universities play a vital and extensive role in driving innovation in the United States. They offer a vast research base (a total of $50 billion nationwide), the ability to teach and develop a fresh new workforce (3 million graduates each year), goodwill of successful alumni, the ability to convene disparate expertise, and a deep commitment to local communities.
From Center for American Progress:
“The United States is known for its innovativeness and entrepreneurial spirit. Between half and three-quarters, or even more, of all economic growth in the last half-century can be tied to technological innovation, depending on which study you use. Yet in the last few decades, measures increasingly demonstrate that the United States is falling perilously behind in innovation.
When we think of technological innovation, we think of inventors, entrepreneurs, and corporations joining novel ideas with financial capital and market opportunities. Efforts to increase innovation should help support circumstances for the private sector to bring new products and services to market. The spark of technological innovation, however, often begins well before the opportunity is obvious or attractive to private sector. As a result, the partnership between the U.S. government’s funding of research in the nation’s public and private universities plays a larger role than most observers recognize.
Universities play a vital and extensive role in driving innovation in the United States. They offer a vast research base (a total of $50 billion nationwide), the ability to teach and develop a fresh new workforce (3 million graduates each year), goodwill of successful alumni, the ability to convene disparate expertise, and a deep commitment to local communities. Universities have been important players to date, and we have an opportunity to further nurture these vibrant ecologies to sustainably generate greater innovation and economic growth…”
New Technology Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to Promote Entrepreneurship, Commercialization and Start-Up Creation for Heterogeneous Computing.
“SUNNYVALE, CA, Jan 17, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — AMD AMD +0.71% today announced the first AMD Fusion Center of Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, designed to focus on the innovative developer environment and software performance advancements enabled by heterogeneous computing. The center will fund, mentor and promote new commercial enterprises emerging from the vast intellectual property and research expertise in the University of Illinois community. The University has been a hotbed of new start-ups since the creation of the first widespread web browser — Mosaic — developed by Marc Andreessen in 1992. Through access to AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) technology and platforms, the AMD Fusion Center of Innovation will help bridge access to new AMD heterogeneous computing technology with the innovative spirit stimulated and nurtured on campus.
To kick-off the AMD Fusion Center of Innovation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offering a course aimed at kindling the spirit of entrepreneurship by bringing a mix of expert speakers to cover the specifics of AMD heterogeneous computing technology, while also providing invaluable, how-to background on entrepreneurship, commercialization and start-up creation. This course will be offered by the university’s College of Engineering, Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC), as “ENG/TE 360/460: Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship AMD Section…”
NYC plays catch-up to create centers, attract venture capital.
From Crain’s NY Business:
“In recent years, the Bloomberg administration and its partners in academia and business have worked to overcome barriers to commercial biotech, from lack of space to lack of funding. The focus is now turning to what some consider the most difficult obstacle: a scarcity of entrepreneurial instinct in a medical-science community that widely thinks “going commercial” means to succumb to the dark side. From networking and pitching events to mentoring, advocates are trying to build the kind of startup ecosystem that has helped make the city’s Internet industry the fastest growing in the country.
“Innovation is a mindset; it’s a culture,” said Jonathan Lewis, a former Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center surgeon, and founder and CEO of Manhattan-based cancer-drug developer Ziopharm Oncology Inc. “It’s been applied to high-tech, and now it has to be applied to biotech.”
It remains to be seen whether such efforts can replicate here what developed organically in biotech hot spots like Boston and San Francisco. Venture capitalists expect that it will take years, along with a string of successful companies and a coterie of seasoned biotech entrepreneurs who can invest in and mentor the next generation of startups…”
The idea is to remove the wall between discovery at universities and implementation in the economy.
From Cincinnati News:
“Dean Carlo Montemagno believes that some of the best teachers at the University of Cincinnati are dreaming up products that could change the world.
They’re partnering with corporations like GE Aviation, Procter & Gamble and Ethicon Endo-Surgery to apply that research or start their own companies. And they’re providing students with real-world experience that readies them for careers.
Montemagno, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, is an entrepreneurial pioneer for UC. This month, he raised $50 million in funding from the state of Ohio and GE Aviation to start a new research institute at the university…”
“Silicon Valley has been terrific, but if the country wants to maintain its leadership in science and technology, it needs more than Silicon Valley.”
From Mercury News:
“It’s already got palm trees, sunshine and some of the sharpest minds in Silicon Valley. What else could Stanford possibly want?
A big, enthusiastic bite out of the Big Apple.
Seeking greater access to an urban world rich in art, finance, drama, music, high-end media, deep-pocketed philanthropy, tweedy East Coast faculty and diverse students, Stanford is putting the finishing touches on a 500-page application for a second campus in New York City, due to land on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s desk in two weeks.
At Thursday’s meeting of Stanford’s academic senate, the university unveiled its most detailed-yet description of the proposed “Stanford NYC” campus that by 2045 could be home to as many as 350 professors and more than 2,000 graduate students studying science, engineering and entrepreneurship.
Three decades of construction at an estimated price of $1 billion to $2 billion, the project is so breathtaking in its scope that the application process alone could cost $1 million…”
Cornell Gains Partner in Graduate School Bid [web]
The analysis examined the performance of the university’s startups over the past 30 years — including the 104 spinoff companies launched by the U-M Technology Transfer Office over the last decade. U-M analyzed how the university’s endowment would have performed if it had invested in those startups at an early stage.
“The University of Michigan’s decision to invest up to $25 million in its own startup companies offers a telling glimpse at how the university is balancing its investment pursuits with a stated desire to boost the economy.
The move also revealed a private debate in which U-M executives clashed over whether the university’s own spinoff companies were worthy of cash.
U-M President Mary Sue Coleman announced Wednesday morning that U-M’s $7.8 billion endowment would deliver up to $500,000 to every early-stage U-M startup that has already secured venture capital from an outside source.
It’s an admission that the university has missed out on past investment opportunities that would have helped its own startup companies expand — and earned the university’s endowment big financial returns…”
What’s needed now are the creative partnerships, where someone knowledgeable about the whole process steps in and finds a way to more seamlessly bring together these two factions around what they have in common.
“These are hard times at universities in America. State support is dwindling, tuition is booming, and federal research dollars are in jeopardy. Morale has taken a beating.
But U.S. academic research centers are still the driving force for innovative new medicines, like always. And anyone who cares about U.S. universities should pay attention to what’s happening at UC San Francisco under the leadership of chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann.
Desmond-Hellmann, a biotech industry star from her days running drug development at Genentech, has her work cut out in her third year as UCSF’s chancellor. Like any executive arriving on campus, she’s had to learn a lot in a hurry. UCSF is a complex, 23,000-employee enterprise that does everything from studying the basic functions of stem cells to helping discover new drugs to treating patients. Starting in August 2009, she’s had the unpleasant job of overseeing furloughs, layoffs, and multi-million-dollar budget cuts. She’s said no, repeatedly, to promising new scientific initiatives…”
Purdue Restructures Processes and Incentives for Research Commercialization to Boost Economic Development
A key element is restructuring the processes and incentives for research commercialization with the additional benefit of boosting economic development in Indiana through the creation of new businesses and products.
From Purdue News:
“A new emphasis on extracting more economic value from sponsored research and intellectual property at Purdue University will help move more Purdue research to the marketplace faster and reduce the university’s reliance on tuition and tax dollars.
Purdue President France A. Córdova announced Wednesday (Sept. 28) a three–part Decadal Funding Plan that will increase sources of revenue beyond tuition and state appropriations – the traditional sources for public university funding – by doubling financial capacity through continued cost-cutting, expanding online degree and professional education offerings, encouraging more robust use of campus facilities through summer teaching, and ramping up research commercialization.
A key element is restructuring the processes and incentives for research commercialization with the additional benefit of boosting economic development in Indiana through the creation of new businesses and products. The effort also invests in more entrepreneurial education and support for faculty, students and businesses.
“We intend to leverage our most valuable resources, a first-class faculty and an amazing group of students, to materially improve our performance in creating and supporting entrepreneurs, commercialization of new science and technology, and industry-university collaborations,” Córdova said…”
The Startup Foundation currently has eight pilot member cities: Boston; Des Moines; Detroit; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York City; Seattle; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Foundation co-founders in each city are mapping their local entrepreneurial ecosystem and interviewing community leaders.
From the Kauffman Foundation:
“Startup Weekend, a global grassroots network of entrepreneurs and leaders, today announced an initiative in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that will lead to the creation of vibrant startup communities in cities across the nation. Called the Startup Foundation, the program is a grassroots initiative that helps cities build and establish ecosystems that will support more high-growth entrepreneurs, startups, and ultimately, jobs.
“We know from our experiences with local Startup Weekends that entrepreneurship is best supported at the grassroots level,” said Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend. “The Startup Foundation will ensure that community leaders across the country have a sustainable platform for which to effect real change within their local communities.”
Startup Weekends are events in cities around the world where aspiring founders and startup supporters meet to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch companies. With funding from the Kauffman Foundation, the Startup Foundation will focus on researching and mapping the ecosystems of participating cities to identify influential leaders, programs and gaps in community resources; supporting local initiatives that drive the creation of more entrepreneurs, startups, and jobs; and raising funds for local entrepreneurship support initiatives…”