Technology-transfer efforts at universities are in a fishbowl.
The fingers of critics in Congress and at the entrepreneurship think tank Kauffman Foundation tap the glass as they advocate stripping the monopoly authority granted tech-transfer offices by law for patent and license academic research. Some want to see more economic bang for the billions in federal bucks spent.
Todd Sherer, president of the Association of University Technology Managers, has heard the percussive beats. His response is that Washington and industry need to continue to invest in research because that's what drives innovation, and job growth. R&D spending at universities rose 4 percent to $61.4 billion in fiscal year 2011, and tech-transfer offices filed more patents, executed more licenses, and formed more start-ups than in 2010.