COLUMBUS — The Ohio Board of Regents recently 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 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.
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 more than $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.
Tech Transfer and Commercialization at Ohio universities is well below the national average (via measures such as Deals/Invention Disclosure and gross return).
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 leadership must recognize commercialization outcomes within the promotion and tenure review process, which has not traditionally been the case.
Open innovation intellectual property auctions: pursue open innovation methods that increase the frequency and sophistication of interaction between seekers and solvers to include advanced data base techniques, markeplaces and even IP auctions.
More exposure to entrepreneurial education: Ohio’s four-year universities and two-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.