Science & Technology Commission
October 26, 1999
Attendees: Anita Jones (chair), Janis Antonovics, Suzanne Farnsworth,
Ian Harrison, George Hornberger, Bob Jones, Dick Merrill, John OConnell, Gary Owens,
Karen Parshall, Dennis Proffitt, Kevin Sullivan. Ex officio: Jeffrey Plank, Tim
Sigmon, Dick Sundberg, Haydn Wadley. Staff: Amy Cronin, Charlie Feigenoff, Denise
Karaoli, Brian Moriarity, Peggy Reed, Fariss Samarrai.
Bob MacWright, executive director of the U.Va. Patent Foundation, discussed
national and local trends related to intellectual property and technology transfer and the
impact of these trends on the University. He based his comments on the assumption that IP
will have an expanded role at U.Va. by the year 2020.
- Federal funding laws, such as the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, are pushing universities
toward commercialization. Federal RFPs increasingly ask for practical outcomes from
federally funded research.
- Corporations are increasingly reliant on universities for basic scientific
research. University-spawned start-ups are providing primary applied research and
early product development. Most corporate R&D now focuses on late-stage product
development. As a result, corporate funding of university research is increasing
dramatically (total of $2.2 billion in 1997).
- Technology transfer activity in U.S. universities is increasing. The number
of patents granted to universities in 1980 was 250; the number granted in 1997 was 2,645.
Universities had $698.5 million in licensing income in 1997. University IP practices have
become broader and more complex.
- Faculty are becoming more interested in commercialization. Successful
start-ups are creating wealth. Faculty members and university administrators are openly
discussion entrepreneurism. Support for technology transfer/start-ups is an important
faculty recruitment issue.
- Research funding is expanding rapidly. U.Va. received $170 million in
research funding last year, and funding is up 7% over the past five years. With the
increases in funding in the federal budget, U.Va. has the potential to double its total
research dollars in the short term.
- Patent Foundation 1999 disclosures: 76%-Medicine, 12% Arts & Sciences,
12% Engineering and Applied Science (software-6%).
- Patent Foundation has new perspectives: Faculty satisfaction and hustle are
its top priorities. Only way to increase annual revenue is to increase the "deal
flow." Patent Foundation must continue to expand to provide adequate service as
How to prepare U.Va. for growth in research enterprise:
- Educate undergraduates about IP and its role in S&T. Important for
students to understand university/industry roles and relationships.
- Educate graduate students about IP. Graduate students need familiarity with
Bayh-Dole Act, patent and copyright processes, licensing, material transfer agreements,
industrial research contracts.
- Develop relationship between Darden School faculty and scientific research
faculty. Darden faculty can help researchers understand how to develop and fund a
- Support expansion of research administration. Need additional staff for
corporate research contract negotiation.
- Support continued expansion of Patent Foundation programs and services.
- Plan for 2020: Building a cultural continuum between the academic and
commercial sectors should be a key part of Universitys long-range plan for science
Discussion Topics U.Va. Patent Foundation
- National trends
- Local (U.Va.) trends
- Preparing U.Va. for research growth
- Distribute Patent Foundation annual report (when available)
Tuesday, November 9, 1999, 7:30-9:00 am, Newcomb Hall Room 389