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­.s. Wants Inventive Ways to Get Research Out of ­niversity Labs and Into the Real World


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Rep. Donna Edwards

U.S. Representative Donna Edwards (D-Md.)

A recent hearing of the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation focused on ways to enhance collaboration between commercial and nonprofit organizations, as well as promote the use of inventions stemming from federally financed research and development.

"When a university works to patent a discovery, it may be many years before the intellectual property proves to be a marketable success," says subcommittee chairman Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.).

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) notes there is an overabundance of viable concepts developed at universities through federal support that are currently in limbo. "As we continue to look for ways to strengthen our economy and secure our global competitiveness, I think it would be wise to focus on technology transfer," she says.

Maryland Technology Development Corp. president Robert Rosenbaum proposes that programs such as the U.S. National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Innovation be founded at other agencies to investigate new technology transfer and commercialization models. Rosenbaum notes that providing industry tax credits for sponsoring research in universities would incentivize interaction and encourage companies to interact with industry and fund university research.

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