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Report Shows Basic Science Creates Jobs

EQUITY EQUALS SUCCESS: Universities can help start-up ventures by reducing demands for cash, explains licensing officer Mike Martin. A recently issued report has provided new evidence that federal support of basic research in universities earns significant paybacks in the form of jobs created and taxes paid by companies created to exploit research findings. Many institutions have been convinced that they could successfully stimulate start-up companies without losing their academic purity and c

Peter Gwynne

Mike Martin
EQUITY EQUALS SUCCESS: Universities can help start-up ventures by reducing demands for cash, explains licensing officer Mike Martin.
A recently issued report has provided new evidence that federal support of basic research in universities earns significant paybacks in the form of jobs created and taxes paid by companies created to exploit research findings. Many institutions have been convinced that they could successfully stimulate start-up companies without losing their academic purity and character. Some have put in place administrative systems to facilitate technology transfer by encouraging faculty members and alumni to form companies based on technologies developed in their academic research. Critics of the process, however, wonder whether university authorities have gone too far in their attempt to cash in on their researchers' success.

The report, prepared by the economics department of BankBoston (E. Moscovitch et al., MIT: The Impact of Innovation, Boston, BankBoston, 1997), demonstrates the nationwide job-creation...

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