Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In the US you can't find a professor who is not trying to create a company

from the Financial Times (March 21, 2005):

A mountain to climb: Brussels is trying to improve the results from

The brightest European students want to study at US universities,
renowned for incubating entrepreneurs as much as for their science.
[LBE note: courtesy of the Bayh-Dole Act.] A survey this year found that half of German companies investing in R&D overseas were reducing capabilities at home. British universities report drops of up to 50 percent in students from Asia enrolling in postgraduate courses.

To meet that challenge, EU leaders - as part of the so-called Lisbon
agenda on boosting competitiveness that they will seek to revivify at their economic summit starting in Brussels tomorrow [March 22, 2005] - have set the goal of increasing R&D spending to at least 3 per cent of gross domestic product by 2010. The private
sector contribution would rise from a little more than half to reach
two-thirds but, as a sign of intent, the European Commission also wants to double the EU's own annual research spending to Euros 10bn in its 2007-13 budget period. (...) French scientists remark wryly that France (at 2.19 per cent) has had a 3 per cent goal since the 1960s under Charles de Gaulle. [LBE note: the plan of the future and always will be.]

Susan Hockfield, new president of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, complained in the Financial Times recently that the US was falling behind in mathematics and science and needed to boost spending on basic research. [LBE note: Susan should contact Larry Summers of Harvard about his remarks about women in science.]

Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, decided three
years ago, for instance, to move its research headquarters to Cambridge, Massachusetts, saying the region offered the biggest untapped pool of top scientists and hospitals. Hakan Eriksson, head of R&D at Ericsson, which is boosting research in China, says: "R&D is likely to follow where production goes." For many companies, that means Asia. [LBE note: Dupont in China, GE in Bangalore, Cummins in Pune.]

Miklos Boda (who heads Hungary's new National Office for Research and Technology) says a framework is needed to channel finance. "Hungary has the fresh water - the scientists. What we miss is the glass to hold the water."
His team wants to encourage smaller companies, arguing that they offer the best long-term growth potential, and to increase incentives for academics to develop their ideas commercially.
"In the US you can't find a professor who is not trying to
create a company
," jokes Mr Boda.

As an aside, in another area of academics, a section of my article in Intellectual Property Today for April 2005 is entitled:



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