Author Archives: Melba Kurman

The Promise and Peril of 3D Printing


By now, you’ve probably heard about 3D printing. 3D printing technology isn’t new -- it’s actually been around for a few decades. What’s new is the fact that in the past few years, a “perfect storm” of converging technologies are rapidly opening up a lot of potential new applications.

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Fund the Future, not the past


Two pieces of legislation proposed earlier this summer -- the America Innovates Act (bill proposed April, 2012) and the Startup 2.0 Act (revised in May, 22, 2012) share a common goal: to improve the flow of university research to society and thereby, increase industry innovation and create startups that create jobs. After that, their similarity ends. These two bills reflect the Great Debate: are university commercialization efforts just underfunded, or are they underperforming?

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Mandatory Ranking of R&D – a growing debate


What if the unthinkable happened and the U.S. government imposed a mandatory and public ranking of research universities and individual faculty according to their "research excellence?" Just to be clear, I’m not advocating ...

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Part II – Diversity in University Technology Transfer Strategy


Like socks labeled “one size fits all,” “one size fits all” university technology commercialization strategy is actually “one size fits no one.” There’s a yawning chasm between diverse, local realities, and what ultimately gets passed off as strategy in mainstream tech transfer policy discussions, scholarly articles, and training workshops. This article is Part II of an earlier article that explored five common challenges in bringing university research to market that hold true at many universities in the U.S.

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The Diversity of University Tech Transfer Strategy


At the risk of stating the obvious, all universities are similar, but each one is different. Just when you think you’ve got a key piece of university tech transfer strategy figured out -- like peeling the proverbial onion -- you unearth another layer you haven’t even considered. (Actually, in this case, onions are much too stolid and predictable – maybe raking leaves on a windy day would be a better analogy.)

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Five Events That Will Shape University Technology Transfer


If I had to characterize the year 2011 in the world of university technology transfer, I would describe it as a year of "wait and see." Of course several notable events happened -- for example, patent reform and a Supreme Court case that clarified limitations on university patent ownership. But my sense was that this year’s big events will make their true impact felt over the longer term.

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