I saw this on FastCompany.com and was both mildly amused and appalled.
This post discusses why National R&D dollars being spent to develop technology in universities is not translating better/faster to the marketplace. The US Government does spend $30 B annually on research and development afterall. The Bayh-Dole Act (aka The University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act) was supposed to make tech transfer easy and flood the market with university technologies. The rush expected has really never happened. Why might this be?
A George Mason University social scientist Edmund Zolnik recently surveyed post-docs in the Washington, DC area. A population he characterized as "one of the most highly skilled pools of human capital in the world," in "one of the best urban areas of the world for generating wealth."
He thought this area would be teeming with entrepreneurs if anywhere did teem. He interviewed 126 individuals - asking them their leanings toward entrepreneurism - and TWO listed entrepreneur career tracks as their top choice. This was odd given that this group at least recognized that tech transfer was important - "the bridge between science and society". Zolnik's study suggested that awareness of entrepreneurial career tracks could be raised through model courses, like one at the University of Texas at Austin, aimed at transforming research into marketable products.
However, this was my favorite?/most horrifying? quote from the story, one person wrote in the survey,
"I don't give a damn about transferring technology, greedy bastards."
Now, that's really putting your education to good use and truly exploits those federal R&D funds as intended, I'm sure.
Posted by Bruce Lehr October 8th 2010.