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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium Panel III U.S. Parks: The Laboratory Model Moderator: Kathryn Clay U.S. Senate Energy Committee Ms. Clay said that the Senate Energy Committee has a dual mission in trying both to support work on basic science and also “to see the importance of following through on basic research to technology transfer and commercialization of products.” She noted that Committee members Bingaman and Alexander have worked hard on the American Competitiveness Act, which is based on recommendations made by the National Academies’ Augustine Commission. This report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, laid out a rationale for federal support of basic science and science education.13 In addition to basic research, she said, the Senate Energy Committee has long advocated that the nation’s national laboratories do more than produce knowledge—that they also help turn new knowledge into products for the marketplace. This broad mission of technology transfer, she said, includes taking projects that begin on the bench and helping them “come off the shelf” to become useful technologies. This remains a difficult balance for Congress because of the wide range of views about whether a federal role in commercializing technology is appropriate. “While almost any member of the Senate will be supportive of the 13 National Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Engineering/Institute of Medicine, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Bright Economic Future, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium government role in basic research,” she said, “it is often difficult for people to understand the subtle difficulties of getting that research to the marketplace.” Another way the federal government can help propel research results into the marketplace is by investing in science parks. She said that Senator Bingaman has been a champion of legislation for science parks, and that Sandia National Laboratories has become a model federal effort in promoting the public-private relationships of successful parks. U.S. AND GLOBAL BEST PRACTICES: SANDIA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PARK Richard Stulen Sandia National Laboratories Dr. Stulen, chief technology officer at Sandia, began by noting that Sandia Science and Technology Park has many features in common with Minatec in France, including deep roots in nuclear engineering research. Sandia National Laboratories were established in New Mexico in the late 1940s, under President Truman, to develop nuclear weapons. While Sandia remains a national security laboratory, its mission has broadened into other national security arenas, including energy and microelectronics, which rest on a broad base of science, technology, and engineering research. Dr. Stulen said that it is this juxtaposition of science and engineering that distinguishes Sandia from other national labs in the country. Sandia: An Attractor for Industry The new Sandia Science and Technology Park has grown out of that research base and sits at the opposite end of an “innovation corridor” from the laboratories. Between them is the multi-building complex of MESA, Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications. This corridor, which represents a $500 million investment by the Department of Energy (DOE), resembles Minatec in that it extends from inside the classified area to a nonclassified region. And like virtually all the parks described in the symposium, said Dr. Stulen, Sandia’s access to special people, knowledge, capabilities, and equipment provides a strong attractor for industry. For example, Sandia has made a large investment in high-performance computing (HPC). Its Red Storm HPC Facility is one of the most powerful in the world. Adjacent to several MESA buildings, it offers valuable capacity for modeling and simulation. MESA also has a microelectronics fabrication facility and capabilities to do mixed-mode fabrication using both silicon, III-V compounds such as GaAs, and microsystems, said Dr. Stulen, providing the ability to
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium integrate single chips in many ways not normally available to industry. The Joint Computation and Engineering Lab brings modern simulation capabilities to the design process in a seamless way that accelerates discovery design for Sandia and for some of its industry partners, “which is a critical ingredient into the future.” Farther out from the National Laboratories is a new Center for Integrated Nano-technologies, a partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is one of five nanoscience centers funded by the Department of Energy. It is outside the “fence,” available to research partners from around the world. Several more Sandia facilities are located in the research park itself, which is separated from MESA and Kirtland Air Force Base. Part of the Computational Science Research Institute has recently been placed in the park, and other activities are being integrated as more of the laboratory moves outside the fence to form partnerships with universities and companies moving into the park. Unusual Partnerships with the Landowners The 240-acre park was founded in 1998 to attract industry in support of the Sandia mission. The park is unusual in having three founding partners: Sandia, Technology Ventures Corporation, and the city of Albuquerque. Their common vision has been to attract business that would co-locate, to the extent possible, with the laboratory. Another unusual feature is that the park does not own the land it occupies, so an MOU had to be signed with the landowners—the Albuquerque Public Schools, BUILD New Mexico/Union Development Corporation (private), and the New Mexico State Land Office. The initial purpose of the park was to create joint research and development opportunities, commercialize technologies, bring in new business, strengthen supplier-based “collaboratories,” and foster regional economic development. “These are more or less the common objectives for all parks world-wide,” said Dr. Stulen. While its goals were similar to other parks, however, Sandia Park does have a competitive advantage in its proximity to world-level expertise and infrastructure. The Need for Champions Dr. Stulen emphasized, however, that expertise and infrastructure are not sufficient to ensure success. It also requires one or more high-level champions, people who care and have the ability to direct resources continuously to the park. “Parks don’t just happen,” he said. “They require energy, devotion, passion from leaders—not only of the institution but also of the region.” He praised not only Senators Domenici and Bingaman for that leadership, but also political leaders at the state and local levels. He emphasized also the importance of many kinds of public-private partnerships. In addition to the landowners, for example, other key partners were the
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium FIGURE 3 Focus on results. Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin Corp., Economic Development Administration, State of New Mexico, Bernalillo County, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Mid-Region Council of Governments, and the New Mexico congressional delegation. “We’ve had help from a range of levels, at every scale.” He offered some statistics to give the dimensions of the park: 27 companies, 2,113 employees, 18 buildings, 897,000 square feet of occupied space, 67 developed acres. Funds-in and in-kind services flowing from tenants to Sandia, such as CRADAs and licensing agreements, have totaled $17.6 million, and DoE/Sandia in-kind services to tenants (CRADAs) have totaled $2.7 million. In the other direction, contracts from Sandia procurement to tenants amount to $244.5 million. “The funding goes both ways,” said Dr. Stulen. “This demonstrates what partnerships can do.” Successful Tenants As an example of successful tenants, the first company founded in the park was EMCORE, in 1998, which is publicly traded. It has licensed three kinds of technology from Sandia: VCSEL, vertical cavity surface emitting laser technology used in telecommunications; solar cell technology; and transponder technology. It has invested $103.8 million in the park and has 500 employees.
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium Another successful park tenant is KTech, a local company that provides technicians for the Sandia Pulsed Power Facility. KTech has invested $34.2 million in the park and also has 500 employees. The park has received $5 million in grants—“small compared with some of the Asian parks, but we consider it significant,” he said. Just over half came from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for a fiber optic backbone and equipment; over $1 million came from the state for infrastructure; and $785,000 came from the city of Albuquerque. Dr. Stulen closed by summarizing some challenges now faced by the park. Foremost is the “continuing challenge of keeping the federal government engaged, and maintaining their interest in providing incentives to help small businesses work in the parks.” He also said the park needs to improve mechanisms for industries to engage with the national laboratories. “We need more speed in working with industries,” he said, “to be able to work at their pace. This means cutting through the bureaucracy in doing an IP agreement, meeting governmental regulations, and measures. We still have challenges there.” NASA RESEARCH PARK Simon (Pete) Worden NASA Ames Research Center NASA Ames Research Center in California—one of ten NASA centers—has an unusual history. It began as a 500-acre NASA property in 1939, to which an additional 1,500 acres was transferred following the deactivation of the Naval Air Station at Moffett Field in 1994. Since 1998, NASA has sought to develop the NASA Research Park (NRP) on the property, with the goal of creating a world-class, shared-use S&T campus for government, academia, nonprofits, and industry. NASA Ames has spare capacity; still undeveloped are several million square feet of old Navy facilities, including the three huge dirigible hangers that once held the ill-fated USS Macon and other airships of the 1930s.14 The NRP is well situated to take advantage of high-tech partners from all sectors. Adjacent to Sunnyvale and Mountain View, California, some of the nation’s leading technology companies are neighbors, including Google, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and Intel. The park’s mission is to support NASA’s mission through research partnerships with universities, industry, and other research groups. 14 When the airship USS Akron crashed off New Jersey in 1935, one victim was Admiral Moffett, after whom Moffett Field was named. The admiral was an ardent proponent of the airship model, and Hangar 1 at Moffett Field was built to house the USS Macon, the sister ship of the Akron. The hangar is a fifth of a mile long, and so high that fog sometimes forms in its upper reaches.
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium Successful Collaborations and Spinoffs “We think this has been a real success story,” said Dr. Worden. “We already have more than 40 industry and 14 university partners onsite. We have several million square feet of old Navy facilities, including the dirigible hangers. We have many successful R&D collaborations and spin-offs, support from our congressional delegation and the U.S. government, a NASA-approved business plan, and an approved environmental plan.” The NASA Research Park, he said, has three key objectives: Support NASA’s mission. Generate revenue for the Ames center, using an enhanced use leasing program to convert underutilized lands. Raise political and public support for NASA by providing benefits to the local economy, public education, and the U.S. scientific base. “We want to boost NASA’s prominence before Congress and the public, strengthen community ties and investments, and broaden NASA’s relationships with industry.” In 1997, the towns of Mountain View and Sunnyvale appointed a Community Advisory Committee to come up with appropriate uses for Moffett Field. They recommended such measures as air shows, information technology institutes, astrobiology institutes, an S&T campus and light industrial park, an air and space educational center, expansion of the Bay Trail, film studios, and expansion of the U.S. Space Camp. All such projects are likely to advance NRP’s third objective of building visibility and serving the community. A series of actions during the years 1998-2002 set the tone and framework for NRP as it is today: In 1998 a planning MOU with Sunnyvale and Mountain View was signed to establish the research park. In 1998-1999 MOUs were signed with the University of California (UC), Carnegie Mellon University, San Jose State University, and the Foothills-DeAnza Community College District. It also has a partnership with the United Negro College Fund. In 2000, NRP began developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In 2002 a final EIS was approved, allowing for 4.2 million square feet of new construction. The EIS received many compliments for its quality. NRP has also received several awards and positive reviews for its development planning, partnerships with industry and academia, and probable return on investments.
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium Development Plans The Space Act of 1958 gives NASA power to sign agreements that are not covered by any other law or regulation. This power has been used extensively in developing the campus. NRP’s development approach has also won praise, and Ames has been selected competitively within NASA for enhanced use leasing. This form of leasing increases flexibility, retains rent payments at the center, and can accept in-kind considerations. Its research programs, in addition to the educational institutions mentioned above, include CREST (Center for Robotic Exploration and Space Technology), M2MI (machine to machine intelligence), Bloom Energy (fuel cells), and UAV (unmanned autonomous vehicles.) It also includes collaborations and contracts with many small firms. In 2005 the park signed an MOU with Google to build 1 million square feet of new facilities for large-scale data management and collaborations in massively distributed computing and bio-info-nano convergence. In 2006 a NASA-Google Space Act Agreement for Research and Development Collaboration was signed, with plans for up to 100 rental units of housing on 40 acres and new R&D labs. NRP has also begun discussions to build a major campus with a consortium of universities, led by UC Santa Cruz. The consortium will lease about 70 acres for research, education, and innovation. Goals are to develop new technologies emerging from the convergence of bio-info-nano-scientific research, autonomous systems and robotics, renewable energy sources, technologies for long-term sustainability of human life, and managing innovation in the emerging world. The project,” said Dr. Worden, “may evolve into the 11th campus of the University of California.” “These emerging programs are quite exciting,” he concluded—“a work in progress. We feel that we’ve done a lot to enhance the visibility of the park in the private sector and the entrepreneurial community, and this in turn has helped us a lot in moving toward our research goals.” THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE AND NCI-FREDERICK John Niederhuber National Cancer Institute Dr. Niederhuber, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), began by saying that NCI is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), founded in 1937 as the first disease-based Institute. He said he would discuss the NCI plan to bring together much of its technology research and development in a park-like setting in Frederick, Maryland, “which I believe will enhance opportunities to interact with the private sector.”
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium The public wants NCI to do three fundamental jobs with respect to cancer, he said: (1) diagnose the disease before it becomes a disease, (2) develop new ways to prevent it, and (3) develop new therapeutics that would “change it from a death sentence to a chronic illness with good quality of life.” To achieve these goals will require “very basic science”; identification of targets and pathways within cells; interventions using small molecules, large molecules, and biologics; processes of chemistry; high-throughput library screening; testing therapies in animal models; and eventually clinical studies. “That I see as the center of what we do,” he said, “so I think you can understand how that requires a platform involving the academic environment, the private sector, and the federally funded NCI. This really is a platform of connectivity that enables all the centers we work with.” Accelerated Pace of Biomedical Discovery He said that in the biomedical sciences, the pace of discovery and generation of new knowledge is more rapid than it has ever been, in part because the Human Genome Project precipitated a revolution in the ability to study biological systems. One scientist to recognize what was to come, he said, was Walter Gilbert, who won the 1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Gilbert stated, “The list of genes that will come from the genome project will be the tool that turns our questions into global ones.” This tool is rapidly being applied in genome-wide association studies, where large populations with disease are genetically compared with those of the population who have not contracted disease. The goal is to find single nucleotide polymorphisms that can be used to show, for example, why one person differs from another in the risk for developing certain kinds of cancer or other conditions. NCI has already completed extensive association studies on breast, prostate, lung, and colon and now is close to completing work on pancreatic cancer. The Institute has also begun to extend its genetics work to sequencing whole tumors and developing a human genome of the cancer. Pilot projects are underway in lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and glioblastoma to help develop the technology needed to do such sequencing and to learn whether it can be as beneficial as expected. He said that the preliminary work on glioblastoma is very exciting, and some of it will be released within the next few months. Recent studies have also moved beyond a focus on the cancer itself and examining the cancer as it resides in normal tissue. This is because it is now recognized that the “normal” tissue has a role in the disease as well. While it may look normal under the microscope, there’s a dynamic relationship between it and the tumor. There is also an interest in whether the tissue stem cells—generated, for example, in the lining of the intestinal tract—are uniquely susceptible to genetic changes that may lead to the cancer process.
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium The Role of NCI-Frederick These changes reflect the increasing complexity of cancer research. The word “cancer” really refers to hundreds of diseases: many breast cancers, many colon cancers, all genetically different. Understanding them will require more knowledge about genetic changes and differences than about the organ site. Because of this research intensity of modern cancer studies, NCI has developed a unique resource in its NCI-Frederick campus to take advantage of more partners and a wider knowledge base. Established in 1971 by President Nixon, using land from Ft. Detrick,15 NCI-Frederick is, said Dr. Niederhuber, “much more than a satellite campus.” It was established as a rapid response site to develop new technologies to support the “War on Cancer” proclaimed by President Nixon. It was given FFRDC16 status in 1975, which allows NCI to establish contractual relationships in streamlined fashion. Of the 38 FFRDCs, NCI is the only one devoted to biological research. “I believe this is why we have made the progress we have,” said Dr. Niederhuber. Now NCI is developing its presence at Ft. Detrick in the direction of an S&T park. Part of NCI’s goal in managing NCI-Frederick is to enhance its partnerships with the private sector and academia and to facilitate various integrated research programs. These objectives, as the symposium heard from many speakers, are brought closer by the rich collaborative environment of a park. The Potential Benefits of a Park In particular, said Dr. Niederhuber, a park holds out several potential benefits for NCI: Some 82 percent of the NCI budget is spent extramurally to support research at research universities. The Institute has realized that it could make this spending even more effective by creating a science and technology research park close to the Frederick campus. The proximity of the campus would allow NCI to improve productivity and reduce the costs of drug development and diagnostics. A park might enable execution of larger and more complex experiments and provide a better environment for training the next generation of people to work in cancer-related technology development. It can offer incubator and think-tank space to integrate the work of multiple 15 Ft. Detrick, during and after World War II the center of biological warfare research for the Department of Defense, today supports a large multi-agency research community under the authority of the U.S. Army Medical Command. 16 FFRDCs, federally funded research and development centers, are not part of the government, but are operated by universities and nonprofit corporations under federal contracts. They address national research needs by bridging the public and private sectors.
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium companies and research teams with significant R&D programs in engineering, software, and imaging. To bring this plan into reality, NCI has been negotiating with developers to create a park of about 230,000 square feet, and Dr. Niederhuber expects to be able to make a formal announcement in the summer of 2008. According to the plan, NCI will be the anchor of the park, but it will support the broader mission of technology development for biological research. Creating a “Dynamic Intellectual Environment” “This is not simply a way of enhancing our infrastructure,” said Dr. Niederhuber. “We want to create a dynamic intellectual environment, hopefully in neighboring facilities of the NIH, other federal laboratories, and the private sector.” He said that he often ends his talks by reminding people that NCI’s results from cancer research are not restricted to that disease. “If you think about advances made in almost every area of disease,” he said, “you can trace them back to work done using cancer as a model of disease. The research involves finding the most fundamental ways of accessing tissue and using that access in innovative ways. Much of what we know about all disease continues to be derived from work using cancer as a model of biology.” DISCUSSION A questioner asked whether NCI’s FFRDC status helps other parts of NIH, and whether NASA Ames has sufficient authority from the Space Act to act quickly. Dr. Niederhuber agreed that the FFRDC status did help others, and cited the example of a large vaccine facility NIAID was able to build in only 18 months with NCI help. “It helps virtually every institute on the NIH campus,” he said. Dr. Worden said that in the case of Ames, about half the employees were civil servants, but attempts to gain FFRDC status had not succeeded. “One big problem,” he said, “is that when one administration wants to change direction, there is a lot of inertia.” However, he agreed that the Space Act provides considerable flexibility. Wendy Schacht of the Congressional Research Service asked about IP issues in dealing with partners and tenants in parks. Dr. Stulen said that IP is sometimes difficult to manage, but remained an important tool in attracting and negotiating with park tenants. Dr. Niederhuber said he envisioned some IP complexities in future drug development. “We are going to need to prove the efficacy and safety not of a single agent at a time, but a recipe of highly targeted therapies that could have multiple IPs, and we’re not sure how that’s going to work. We may require some policy legislative assistance down the road. Other issues about IP are fairly straightforward as long as you keep them up front.”
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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium Another questioner asked whether the national laboratories have found ways to allow investigators to be actively involved in start-ups. Dr. Worden said that this is indeed a difficult issue at Ames. Some scientists left government to work on start-ups and, if they did not succeed, often came back to work at Ames. He said that a legal advisory program was needed. Dr. Stulen said that Sandia has an entrepreneurial separation program that frees people to leave for up to two years to establish a start-up, with an option to renew for one more year and then return to the lab should things not work out. This helps scientists take the risk necessary to start a new company and provides a way for Sandia to attract high performers back to the lab. Venture capital firms, however, prefer that scientists sever their link with the lab to commit completely to the new venture. Dr. Niederhuber said that NCI did not have “anything close to that, and recruitment and retention are more difficult because of it. I think the pendulum has to come back a little.” Dr. Wessner asked Dr. Niederhuber about the anticipated financial scale of the new NCI-Frederick Park and whether NCI would follow the practice of partnering with a university. Dr. Niederhuber replied that some of the investment took the form of labor by himself and others at NCI. In terms of capital expenses, he planned to have a developer construct the building, which NCI would lease back. Of the total NCI budget of $4.8 billion, some $17 million is used for leasing laboratory and office space, and some of this will be used at Frederick. Infrastructure and equipment will also come out of the existing NCI budget. Private partners will be asked to finance their own facilities. He said that the partnerships with universities would be “facilitative.” That is, an investigator might come forward with a project—perhaps a cellular target that has promise for treating cancer. The project might need some advanced analytical techniques that NCI could offer. For example, high-throughput screening of libraries might be required to see if the compound has promise. Or significant chemistry input might be needed to refine a small or large molecule, optimize it, and determine how it could be used in formulation. NCI could help a university partner do this testing and also study the molecule in terms of how it will change function and whether it has efficacy. “That’s the kind of partnership we imagine,” he said. “We can also do a great deal to facilitate the interaction of academic investigators with the private sector.”