In recent years, there has been extensive discussion in the tech transfer and entrepreneurial communities about bridging the gap between the universities and other research institutions that are generating new research and the entrepreneurial and commercial interests that might take that research and develop new products. As one commentator has said, a key challenge is that invention does not necessarily lead to innovation. In June, the House Science Committee held a hearing on the implications of the Bayh-Dole Act on this situation: “Best Practices in Transforming Research into Innovation: Creative Approaches to the Bayh-Dole Act.” As discussed in more detail below, at the hearing, witnesses discussed some of the new initiatives in tech transfer offices, such as creating accelerators, finding gap funding and encouraging entrepreneurship by faculty and students. Other ideas included creating standard license agreements that simplify negotiations and the cost of licensing. Whether IP lawyers represent universities and research institutions, inventors, entrepreneurs or funders, they need to be aware of the issues, developments and opportunities in the tech transfer ecosystem as they counsel and advise clients in this ecosystem.
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