of Health, and in the early 1980s the Bayh-Dole Act was passed to allow universities to own the intellectual property developed with federal support.1

“This encouraged and one might even say forced the universities to take that which they learned and bring it out of the labs for societal use,” he said. “From a university point of view, this is what drives the economies of many parts of this country—the translation of basic science to its applications. It is encouraged by the universities and by the government. For those who are economists and believe in the free market, there is a government role here. This chain of innovation that begins in the lab and has societal impact has several essential inputs, including both public and private capital.”

He closed by welcoming visitors to the university and to the conference, which had been designed to bring together the sectors required to build an innovation hub.


1A recent report of the National Academies observed that “patenting and licensing of IP by universities is more closely regulated by national policies emanating from the dominant role of the federal government in funding academic research. Thirty years ago federal policy underwent a major change through the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-517, the Patent and Trademark Act Amendments of 1980), which fostered greater uniformity in the way research agencies treat inventions arising from the work they sponsor, allowing universities to take title in most circumstances, and as a result accelerating patenting and licensing activity.” National Research Council, Managing University Intellectual Property in the Public Interest, Stephen A. Merrill and Anne-Marie Mazza, eds., Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2010.

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