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Roadmap provided for university research and tech commercialization

April 25, 2019

As a bedrock of American innovation, universities and federal laboratories research and develop new products that help drive economic growth. A new study from the Economic Growth Institute at the University of Michigan aims to improve national competitiveness in this arena by providing a roadmap for universities that includes best practices on translating research from the lab to the marketplace.

U-M researchers interviewed and surveyed representatives at 59 Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) universities designated by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), and identified the following best practices for technology commercialization:

  • Value technology innovation and lab-to-market activities at all levels through cultural norms.
  • Support lab-to-market innovation at all levels through champions and organizational programming.
  • Motivate and reward new ideas with career incentives and provide resources to support technology commercialization.
  • Focus on partnerships to foster, speed and enhance lab-to-market activities.

The University of Michigan received support from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in formulating the roadmap. NIST Director Walter Copan, who also serves as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, said in a release that the study “is an important contribution to a larger NIST initiative to increase the returns from the $150 billion federal investment in research and development.”

U-M researchers and APLU representatives plan to share the best practices with universities and federal laboratories across the country to help address gaps in the commercialization process, mentorship and culture.

tech transfer, innovation, federal labs, r&d, higher ed