From Lab to Market: Creating Companies from University Research

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The growth of knowledge-based industries has become the mantra for many governors and chief executives of state economic development agencies in this post-recession economy. These officials are looking more and more to academic institutions to supply the seeds for this growth by encouraging them to foster the creation of start-up companies to commercialize university-based research. Whether these efforts will meet expectations remains to be seen but colleges and universities are actively pursuing the licensing of their technologies to start-ups. This article will briefly explore the history of university technology transfer and describe the commercialization process most common at academic institutions. Finally, it will examine the hypothetical case study of a professor engaging in research that results in a patentable invention which is subsequently licensed to a start-up company.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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