Everywhere you look around the world we see investments in the future which recognize what the 21st Century will look like. Isn’t it about time we did the same?
From Forbes, by Craig Barrett:
“The road to economic success has been pretty bumpy so far this century. Over-speculation in real estate, excessive government spending, unfunded and unaffordable pensions, the collapse of financial institutions, and the worldwide competition for jobs have all exacted their toll. As individuals, companies and countries search for something magical to promote a competitive future, there is strong evidence that the ultimate wealth-creating machine is something created here in America and increasingly being noticed and copied by the rest of the world.
That something is the American research university, where a unique blend of the best and brightest students from around the world, top quality professors with aggressive research programs, and a close association with private industry has combined to spin off entrepreneurs with bright ideas for the next generation products, services, and new companies. Look no farther than Stanford and UC Berkeley as the catalysts for Silicon Valley, or MIT as the parent for thousands of start-up companies along Route 128 in Massachusetts. Sure, other countries have their prestigious universities, but none matches ours when it comes down to spinning off smart people with smart ideas and the resultant wealth creation.
Have others noticed this phenomenon? Certainly the answer is yes…”
READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
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…”
From The Hill:
“The House on Thursday rejected several key amendments to a controversial patent bill, including one that sought to strip what is arguably the primary purpose the bill, which is to move the U.S. to a first-inventor-to-file system.
Several members have warned that this change would violate the Constitution, which empowers Congress to reward inventors with patents. They say the addition of a timely filing requirement violates that language, and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) warned that failure to strip this language through his amendment would result in a legal challenge to the bill…”
READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
The reform proposed in this legislation includes the most significant changes to the U.S. patent law in over a century — and they are not good changes.
From Kevin Noonan of the Patent Docs blog:
“The reform proposed in this legislation [H.R. 1249] includes the most significant changes to the U.S. patent law in over a century — and they are not good changes. There are five major changes proposed which individually and in concert weaken patents and make it more difficult and expensive for universities to obtain, maintain, license and enforce patents…”
Connecticut state legislators are proposing several bills to increase the state’s supporting role in technology transfer and regional entrepreneurship…
With a growing desire to boost technology transfer efforts in Connecticut, lawmakers are considering several bills that aim to encourage the commercialization of dormant research or technology sitting on the shelves of universities and corporations.
The measures include creating an Intellectual Property Factory that would fund university-mentored student teams that work to commercialize research and technology held, but ignored by Connecticut-based companies. [more]
A report published this month by SUNY suggests a new “knowledge first” paradigm for colleges and universities in promoting state and regional economic development.
Highlights of the report authored by David Shaffer and David Wright of the Rockefeller Institute of Government:
“In states across America, higher education institutions and systems are working to become key drivers of economic development and community revitalization. They are:
- Putting their research power to work by developing new ideas that will strengthen the country’s competitive edge in the new economy — and then by helping to deploy those innovations into commercial use.
- Providing a wide range of knowledge-focused services to businesses and other employers, including customized job-training programs, hands-on counseling, technical help, and management assistance.
- Embracing a role in the cultural, social, and educational revitalization of their home communities.
- And, most fundamentally, educating people to succeed in the innovation age.”
The financial reform bill proposed by Senator Dodd’s Senate Banking Committee includes new restrictions on investors at the “angel” level, which could impact dramatically the existing angel-startup-VC business model, according to a number of experts.
VentureBeat puts it this way:
“Not surprisingly, investors aren’t happy about it, saying it’s “insane,” “frankly ridiculous,” and aims to “destroy Silicon Valley.”
The article continues with links to tweets/blogs/quotes from some of the investment community’s heavy hitters commenting on the proposed regs.
UPDATE: David B. Lerner rounds up the latest news [on his blog]