Recently, probably partly in response to the flap over Bayh-Dole launched by the Kauffman Foundation, the White House issued an RFI (Request for Information) on the commercialization of university-based research.
Many institutional offices around the nation have put effort into their replies, and since they will take care to promote their own efforts and programs, I decided to write my own response, treating the RFI more as an RFC (Request for Comment) so I could write a discursive treatment rather than a mere catalog of programs I find meritorious.
You can read my response to the RFI in pdf form here or in text form after the break. Please feel free to comment below, or to send me email.
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Good grief. Now even the Kauffman Foundation can’t keep its mitts off Bayh-Dole, which — whatever the deficiencies of university TTOs, and I concede many — has been reasonably successful as overall federal policy. I’m going to think about this, but I definitely have some reservations about the foundation’s idea. It seems like the legal “agency” problems would be very severe and difficult to sort out. Maybe we need to see the specific statutory language they have in mind. Comment from lawyer friends? UPDATE (1/19): Ominously, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke lines up behind Kauffman and announces plans to convene the nation’s universities to talk about their contributions to economic development (not a bad idea, on the whole). One can already detect the discomfort on the AUTM web page.