Monday, May 2, 2016

18 patent brokers?!?!

Also in this week's C&EN, an article by Frank Hersey about moves in China's research enterprise to move faster towards commercialization: 
...In light of the increasing push to transfer technology to industry, Tianjin University in 2013 opened China’s first national center for patent and intellectual property. The Tianjin University Technology Transfer Center now has 18 full-time patent brokers who work on moving technology from the university to industry. 
Removing the need for central approval for the sale of intellectual property will, in turn, grant China’s universities and institutes greater autonomy in what they research. 
“Passing greater autonomy to universities and cutting the red tape on the reporting for grants involving science and technology is a very big thing because, in general, funds have been very controlled. So if we see policies that allow for more entrepreneurial ventures within the university—your degree programs, new directions for research—that the university can control, then we get bottom-up control. This will have a big impact on research in general, and chemistry is poised to benefit enormously,” Siegel says. 
Or, as Yu summarizes, China’s new policies “will encourage chemists to get involved in ‘useful’ research.”
I still haven't really figured out how Chinese granting agencies work and what power and funds are pooled in Beijing. That said, is anyone else weirded out about the push to commercialize work from universities? Hard to know what will be better for China...  

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