optimal offices.” He said that the Kaufmann team had been to Akron, and “understood what could be done by this highly robust model.”
Mr. Weinman added that university leadership could also play a significant role in moving technologies to the market. At his venture capital office in Palo Alto, he said, two deans from Stanford sit on the advisory board and invest in the fund. “When they see something we ought to look at,” he said, “they grab us by the ear and pull us there. There’s a culture at Stanford that goes beyond just trying to license technology. At a lot of universities the deans don’t think it’s a part of their job, but I think it is.”
Mr. Goldin agreed with Katharine Ku that “money isn’t the main issue. Getting technology transferred is multidisciplinary, and too many universities depend on the technology transfer office. When I was in the government and traveled to the major research universities, I found a significant weakness in the process in the tech transfer shop, especially in state universities, which was the feeling that ‘we can’t fail.’ There are too many restrictions on those individuals. They frustrate the innovators to the point where they don’t want to deal with them.” Mr. Goldin said he agreed with a 501(c)3 strategy that removes tech transfer from the oversight of the state so that it can be dealt with on its commercial merits. The objective of tech transfer, he said, should not be to maximize the money earned back from patents, but to maximize the value of the companies. Dr. Proenza added that the University of Akron, and “virtually all of the successful ones,” were 501(c)3 organizations.