9 June 2011
Academic Health Science Centres, a blend of academe and clinical service providers (hospitals) are an important driver of innovation. They are both the owners of many problems as service providers, and they also have the capacity through their research to solve these problems. With their role in knowledge transfer, through the education of health professionals, they can influence the adoption of new approaches, such as they can by being a first adopter of their innovations.
Work here has included cataloguing the commercialisation approaches (from technology transfer to institutional venturing and start-ups), as well as organisational arrangements condusive to commercialisation, exploitation of innovations.
The role of the state is relevant. Where, for instance, should government funding stop and private funding pick up. Often governments venture too far into the private realm, and often the private realm is deterred by early stage risk. How can the balance be found?
The public ownership of intellectual property and even the ownership of research laboratories can be a brake on innovation and commercialisation. Should governments own labs? If not, should they be given to universities, or encouraged to set up on their own either as for-profits, or not-for-profits.