I am posting University of Vermont’s press release on the new patent law to highlight the traditional response of research universities to calls for innovation and entrepreneurship. While the work and structures in place speak to some level of success, I can’t help but wonder if this focus on patents and intellectual property is short sighted? From UVM‘s release:
“The signing of the patent reform bill ensures that the land-grant mission of the University of Vermont continues to fulfill the changing needs of our modern economy,” said UVM interim president John Bramley. “Vermonters could not be more proud of Senator Leahy for his leadership on a bill that both invests in national innovation and strengthens the ability of Vermont’s land grant university to support new economic development, entrepreneurship and the commercialization of cutting-edge technologies.”
As Vermont’s land grant institution, UVM plays a leadership role in fostering innovation and economic development in the state. UVM has a significant direct economic impact as an employer of more than 5,500 full and part-time faculty and staff, as an educator of more than 13,000 students, and as a research and innovation enterprise bringing in more than $128 million dollars in sponsored funding each year. A few highlights of the university’s role in fostering innovation and the economy in Vermont include:
The release, which can be read here, lists various actives and institutions such as: The UVM Office of Technology Commercialization, a statewide incubator program. and various strategic partnerships with MITRE and IBM.There is little mention of students and non-patentable, non-high tech opportunities. We must think broadly.
Again, a nice setup, but I am not sure if this is the best path for the entrepreneurial age.