Myths and realities in university industry partnerships
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Myths and Realities in University-Industry Partnerships. Peter Munsche Assistant Vice-President, Technology Transfer University of Toronto PAGSE Symposium 2000 October 24, 2000 Ottawa, Ontario. Our favourite myth. “We’re not very good at technology transfer, are we?”. Some facts.

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Myths and Realities inUniversity-Industry Partnerships

Peter Munsche

Assistant Vice-President,

Technology Transfer

University of Toronto

PAGSE Symposium 2000

October 24, 2000

Ottawa, Ontario


Our favourite myth

  • “We’re not very good at technology transfer, are we?”


Some facts

  • between 1991-97

    U.S.Canada

    Licensing

    revenues+271%+242%

    Industrial

    funding+103%+348%

    Source: AUTM Licensing Survey


International comparison

  • share of university R&D funded by industry

    19911997

    Canada6.3%11.8%

    Germany7.8%7.5%

    U.K.7.6%6.2%

    U.S.A.4.7%5.5%

    Source: Statistics Canada


We’re good at something? Why?

  • government policies

    • tax credits

    • matching grants

  • changing industry attitudes

    • need for value added

    • knowledge-based industries

  • Canadian universities, eh?


What do Canadian universities do?

  • have lots of research expertise

  • know how to use matching grant programs

  • are flexible about IP rights

    • psst! no Bayh-Dole Act

  • build relationships


Example: Bell University Labs

  • initiated 1998

  • total company investment: $35 million over 3 years

  • multi-university participation

    • NCM2 in Quebec

    • Waterloo

    • Toronto


BUL at Toronto

  • collaborative investment

    • $13.5 million from Bell

    • $11.8 million from Ontario R&D Challenge Fund

    • $3 million from University (plus in-kind)

  • spent on

    • 4 endowed Chairs (plus 4 junior positions)

    • $4.3 million in research funding

    • lab enhancements, start-up funding, technical staff


That’s big, but why is it special? - I

  • it’s a strategic investment

    • has the commitment of senior management at both University and Bell

  • focus is not technical

    • research involves sociology, law, medicine, education, psychology, as well as computer science and engineering


That’s big, but why it is special? - II

  • management is collaborative

    • research investments decided by a Joint Committee

    • both University and Bell have assigned staff to make it work

  • emphasis on communication

    • company “champions” required for projects

    • BUL Seminar Series

    • short courses for Bell employees


Any conclusions?

  • technology transfer is more than royalties and spin-off companies

  • Canada is better at this than it thinks

  • we need to move beyond projects to long-term programatic relationships

  • it can be done


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