Aldo Geuna Talks About University Patenting

Fast Moving Front Commentary, March 2011

Aldo Geuna

Article: University patenting and its effects on academic research: The emerging European evidence


Authors: Geuna, A;Nesta, LJ
J RES POLICY, 35 (6): 790-807 Sp. Iss. SI, JUL 2006
Addresses: Univ Sussex, SPRU, Freeman Ctr, Brighton BN1 9QE, E Sussex, England.
Univ Sussex, SPRU, Freeman Ctr, Brighton BN1 9QE, E Sussex, England.

Aldo Geuna talks with ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about this month's Fast Moving Fronts paper in the field of Economics & Business.


SW: Why do you think your paper is highly cited?

The paper (co-authored with Lionel Nesta) provides the first assessment of European academic patenting and develops an analytical framework to evaluate its impact on academic research.

SW: Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or synthesis of knowledge?

"Policy makers at the regional, national, and EU level have become much more aware of the intrinsic limitation of academic patenting..."

It is a synthesis and elaboration of scattered information available from more countries. It provides a context and a framework to analyze a new phenomenon.

SW: Would you summarize the significance of your paper in layman's terms?

Governmental policies in support of academic patenting were based on a major mismeasurement of patenting activities of university researchers as they did not take into account all the patents that were invented by academic researchers but owned by other organizations (about 80% of the total sample in Europe). 

SW: How did you become involved in this research, and how would you describe the particular challenges, setbacks, and successes that you've encountered along the way?

The specific research on academic patenting started in 2003 with a contract for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), while being linked to a broader research effort on the economics of university research and knowledge transfer from academia. This is a new area of research in economics for which analytical models and data sources are still very weak.

SW: Where do you see your research leading in the future?

I am currently working on two major projects:

1. The analysis of mobility of researchers and their productivity

2. The study of company inventors interactions with universities in education and research

SW: Do you foresee any social or political implications for your research?

After the publication of the paper there has been an important policy debate on the reassessment of institutional academic patenting as the preferred channel for knowledge transfer. Policy makers at the regional, national, and EU level have become much more aware of the intrinsic limitation of academic patenting (most universities lose money; only very few make a profit) and of the potential negative impacts on academic research.End

Aldo Geuna
Professor of Economics
Department of Economics S. Cognetti de Martiis
Faculty of Political Sciences
University of Torino
Torino, Italy

Web | Web

KEYWORDS: UNIVERSITY PATENTING, UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY RELATIONSHIPS, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES, BAYH-DOLE ACT, PHARMACEUTICAL INDUCTRY, RESEARCH PERFORMANCE, UNITED STATES, LIFE SCIENCE, FACULTY, BIOTECHNOLOGY, SCIENTISTS, INNOVATION, GROWTH.

 
 

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