Of particular note, Purdue is now offering recipients of SBIR and STTR grants aimed at developing a Purdue technology, a cash-free first option to license the Purdue technology provided at least 30% of the total award is performed at
Turning to related but different and no less important initiatives in support of increasing the impact of Purdue technologies to the benefit of the community, Purdue has evolved its business advisement services inward. Previously focused primarily as a service to
Based on the summary of innovative practices employed at
The proposed legislation would promote continued progress by university and small businesses in achieving the STTR's stated goals as envisioned in pilot form under Title II of
In this spirit, the proposed legislation currently recites a stated outcome of the proposed awards, both generally and implicit in the criteria, is the marketplace. While a necessary means, the Committee may consider coming full circle and expressly reciting the intended benefactors of the program, the public, as the proposed programs endpoint. It is undisputed that the Committee intends the American people - from whose pockets these funds flow - to benefit from its investments in research and development through partnerships between university and small businesses. Making such intent explicit in the proposed legislation would seem appropriate.
Further, research universities often view sponsors of research as benefactors of such research, contractually. Such concept introduced in an explicit manner to this proposed legislation is consistent with the practice of research universities today, for other sponsors of research and likely would make clear the foundation from which the outcomes and metrics of any funded innovative programs are measured.
The importance of the positive impact of federally funded research and development is such that the proposed legislation may better articulate the objective if technology transfer strategies were assessed on increased impact rather than scale. Talking to a university employee, 'scale' tends to take our minds to more or bigger campus buildings. While increased infrastructure may indeed be an effective technology transfer strategy that receives a proposed award, embracing impact-driven strategies of all types offer creative license to the agency and prospective awardees to arrive at strategies that are customizable, by geographic region, socioeconomic context, industry target market, and the like.
Such creative license turns the focus to measurable metrics, which when measured will drive the outcomes of the proposed program. I wish to applaud the Committee's proposed scope of possible evaluation metrics currently included in the proposed legislation. As well-documented, informed decision-making requires robust and objective data analysis and, until recently, the area of technology transfer and commercialization has too long ignored its importance. There is a very good reason: it's difficult and likely requires longitudinal examination. Similar to the patient analysis of R&D investments for impact, data collected in determining effective technology transfer strategies also requires us to be patient analyzers.
Fortunately, material attention is being paid by several organizations to better assess the breadth and depth of technology transfer contributions to regional and national technological, economic and societal impact. To cite just one, the
While no one metric will likely ever be sufficient, a compilation of myriad data along the lines of those in the proposed legislation, in which several options are provided, is also a good start. I would caution the confidential nature of some of those options to small businesses may ultimately render them underdisclosed. Aggregation in a central database, across all awardees despite agency sponsor, in a manner that borrows from the common practice employed in clinical research to render anonymous origins of data may ensure increased quality of data and, thus, robustly informed decision-making in the future.
In closing, I wish to express my grateful thanks to the Committee for the opportunity to participate today and for your leadership, commitment, and partnership on this important topic of technology transfer of federally funded research and development.
Read this original document at: http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-113-SY14-WState-EHartWells-20130724.pdf
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