COLUMBUS, OH, June 27, 2012 – The Ohio Board of Regents today issued a comprehensive report on commercialization efforts, making recommendations to improve the technology transfer pipeline to turn research innovation into the next great products and services in the market. The Condition of Higher Education in Ohio: Advancing Ohio’s Innovation Economy, report was crafted with participation of hundreds of business and higher education leaders, university and community college presidents, Ohio’s top researchers, finance and venture capital representatives, key industry CEOs, student intern researchers and others. It proposes a statewide commercialization ecosystem to create jobs, promote economic growth, and increase wealth in Ohio.
Board of Regents Chairman James Tuschman said, “For Ohio to successfully compete in our global economy, industry and higher education collaboration must accelerate. As the focus of this year’s required Condition (of Higher Education) Report, we called upon the task force to identify how to more effectively move university research into commercial applications, engage higher education in the support of commercialization of industry-based research, and jointly-develop breakthrough science, new technologies and products.”
Recent studies show Ohio lags behind peers in technology commercialization. A 2010, Milken Institute report – which measures 79 unique indicators in areas of research and development, entrepreneurial infrastructure, human capital investment, and technology concentration and dynamism – ranked Ohio 20th (out of 50) in research and development and 29th overall – a “third-tier state.” According to the National Science Foundation (NSF FY2010) over $2 billion in research and development was spent at Ohio’s public and private universities. The state is below average in Tech Transfer compared to others states according to analysis of survey data provided by Association of Technology Managers to (AUTM). Tech Transfer and Commercialization at (all) Ohio universities is well below the national average (via measures such as Deals/Invention Disclosure and gross return).
Regent Vinod (Vinny) Gupta, Chair of Technology Transfer and Commercialization Task Force said, “When it comes to commercialization, Ohio has done well in seeking out and winning important research dollars, but we must now be more effective at turning research into commercialized products,” said Gupta.
“Our higher education institutions are truly one of Ohio’s greatest assets. We know through effective collaboration the great minds of our universities, combined with the unique innovative history and spirit Ohio’s business community, is one powerful combination that can help create the next great products and services for Ohioans and others around the world,” said Chancellor Jim Petro.
Some of the highlights of the Commercialization Task Force Recommendations are:
• Exposing Students to co-op/internships to provide real-life entrepreneurial opportunities: the next generation of technology innovation will come from today’s students who should be exposed to an entrepreneurial curriculum, co-ops and internships, provided with real life experiences, and supported in promoting their intellectual property ideas.
• Expanded tenure review process: Higher Education Institution (HEI) leadership must recognize commercialization outcomes within the promotion and tenure review process, which has not traditionally been the case.
• Open innovation Intellectual Property (IP) auctions: pursue open innovation methods that increase the frequency and sophistication of interaction between seekers and solvers to include advanced data base techniques, marketplaces and even IP auctions.
• More exposure to entrepreneurial education: Ohio’s 4-year universities and 2-year community colleges should expand their entrepreneurial curricula, collaborate with corporate partners to offer expanded student internships, and cooperative experiences, promote meaningful business plan competitions, and develop experiential learning opportunities with start-up companies.
• Aligning curriculum to support talent needs of industry: exposure to entrepreneurship is minimal for most higher education curricula. Although programs are present on nearly all campuses, they are not effectively advertised or integrated into the required curriculum which seldom includes entrepreneurial classes or experience. This results in college graduates entering the workforce with little awareness of the entrepreneurial process or how to effectively work with academic institutions from the industry standpoint.
About the Ohio Board of Regents
The Ohio Board of Regents is the state agency that coordinates higher education in Ohio. The agency is directed by its Chancellor, who is a member of the Governor of Ohio's cabinet. The Chancellor, with the advice of the nine-member Board of Regents, provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly, advocates for the University System of Ohio and carries out state higher education policy.
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