Ed Penhoet of the Academies STEP Board added that it is “hard to overstate” the importance of a university in a cluster. He noted that much of the nation’s biotechnology activity is located in five regions—San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, Research Triangle Park, and Seattle—and that each of them includes one or more major research universities. “One of our challenges,” he said, “is to think about the timing of the university’s role. NIH funding started in a significant way in 1950, but biotech did not grow significantly until 25 years after that. A challenge is to find ways to stimulate innovation from university research that don’t have a 25-year lag.”

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