From the University to the Marketplace
The JSOnline has an interesting article on a new trend in academia: Professors take expertise to marketplace.
For example, Professors at UW-Madison started six companies in fiscal 2008 and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which handles a lot of UW-Madison's technology transfer activities, has about 20 potential start-ups in its pipeline. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Utah each had 20 start-ups, and the University of Florida had 14 during FY 2008, according to the Association of University Technology Managers survey of licensing activity. The article explains that
"There was a time when the universities looked down their collective noses at commercialization of research, but that day is long past," said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. "I think they recognize this really embodies the Wisconsin idea because it takes what is best in the universities and gets it into the marketplace, and it helps the state's economy."
Many universities have specific plans to foster university start-ups. JSOnline reports that WARF started an Accelerator program last summer, which it will use to deploy funding to help inventors generate data, build prototypes or take other steps toward commercialization. It also plans to open in December the $205 million Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, a public-private research center in the heart of the UW-Madison campus that is being designed to spur commercialization of university technologies.
For more on this new emphasis on technology commercialization through start ups, read the entire article.