funding. The end result is that there are not a lot of start-up companies in our area, not nearly as many as you will find in Boston and Silicon Valley and so on.

Industrial funding can be a metric for economic development, but not necessarily the number of start-ups spun off, although depending on how the university structures its partnership to begin with, it may be possible to count start-ups. The real question is, How do we interact with more small companies? How do we provide incentives for them to interact with universities since they generally don't have much money to support their research base?

Richard K. Koehn: You have discussed two very different issues. One issue is contract research. The way Research Triangle has evolved has attracted a number of large corporations. The result is an opportunity for the companies and the universities in the Research Triangle area to interact in unique ways.

The issue of start-ups is a different issue. I like to joke—and I shouldn't because Professor Peter Stang is here, and he will go back and report to the faculty that I said this—but one of the reasons I think the University of Utah has been so successful in generating start-ups is because it underpays its faculty. There are very few research parks in the United States that are successful. The University of Utah research park turns out to be one of them, economically and programmatically. But unlike Research Triangle, virtually 90 percent of the companies that originated in that spot are from the university.

It is just a very different dynamic, and the way in which we as a university set up our policies and our interactions, our cultural incentives, is going to be different than it will be for an institution imbedded in large multinational corporations, which are looking for very different kinds of things than a small company starting up.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement