Report Calls for a Collaborative Infrastructure of Technology Transfer in SE Wisconsin

November 02, 2011

In Technology Transfer in Southeast Wisconsin, a new report from the Public Policy Forum, researchers call for a "full-fledged collaborative infrastructure" that is adept at transferring technologies developed at the region's research institutions to entrepreneurs that will use them to create businesses and jobs in the region. The report does tout some efforts to develop a collaborative infrastructure for the knowledge economy including the recently established Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) — a collaborative dedicated to using research to inform and improve medical practice that includes the region's prominent research and academic institutions. However, according to the report, "many more dollars are spent on research and development than are recouped in licensing royalties or equity positions in new companies" in southeastern Wisconsin. To remedy this problem, the report provides three models that could enhance regional collaboration in technology transfer and potentially augment the effectiveness of existing efforts:

  • Joint Office of Technology Transfer — a joint office could potentially result in greater expertise in economic development practice for the participating institutions, as well as economies of scale;
  • Joint Infrastructure for Informal Technology Transfer Activities — a consortium of CTSI institutions could be created and charged with raising the profile of translational research for local industry through networking and partnering efforts (this model is based on the Federal Lab Consortium); and,
  • Joint Economic Development Entity — four different types of collaborative economic development agency models aimed at encouraging and supporting the transfer of technology to local industry and startups, with each having unique characteristics.

Researches devised these recommendations through a series of interviews with local academic researchers, technology transfer practitioners and entrepreneurs, as well as extensive research into national technology transfer collaborative approaches and models.

Wisconsintech transfer, regionalism, commercialization, intellectual property