LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas’ top entrepreneurship official will co-host a webinar on how universities can evolve their technology transfer activities and do more to address the demands of the innovation economy.
Julie Nagel, associate vice chancellor for innovation & entrepreneurship, will join a panel for the webinar, scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17. The online event is free, and registration is required.
The session will cover a recent Association of Public and Land-grant Universities report titled “Technology Transfer Evolution: Driving Economic Prosperity” that calls on universities to accelerate their transition to a technology transfer model that reflects broader engagement in economic development and connects to the learning and discovery missions of universities. APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness & Economic Prosperity produced the report to help public research universities evolve toward more comprehensive technology transfer efforts.
“Part of public universities’ mission is to drive economic prosperity, and technology transfer efforts are a crucial component of that,” said Nagel, who is also president of KU Innovation & Collaboration, the unit that oversees KU’s efforts to bring innovation to the marketplace for the benefit of society and the university. “Public universities should continue to redefine expectations for their technology transfer offices in support of an overall economic engagement mission including other aspects such as industry and entrepreneurial partnerships.”
The report identifies four guideposts for institutions aiming to evolve their technology transfer activities:
- Success in technology transfer should not be measured by revenue, but by contributions to economic prosperity;
- Technology transfer must better integrate and align with the broader economic engagement efforts of the university;
- Strategic resource allocation for technology transfer, including funding and staffing, must take into account a broader scope of activities and expectations; and
- The economic engagement story must be made more explicit.
Nagel will be joined on the panel by Paul Roben, associate vice chancellor for innovation and commercialization at the University of California San Diego, and Jim Woodell, vice president for economic development and community engagement at APLU.
KU continues to expand its efforts to translate its discoveries into new products and services that drive economic growth. There are 38 active companies that have spun out of KU or are based on KU discoveries or technologies. Last year, KU researchers conducted $230 million in externally funded research, which is new money that flows into Kansas because of the work KU does. Since 2010, more than 20 companies have located in or near Lawrence to partner with KU researchers, including Archer Daniels Midland, Sun Life Financial and Ligand Pharmaceuticals. There are currently more than 40 tenants in the Bioscience & Technology Business Center.