Story excerpt provided by The Plain Dealer
Written by Karen Farkas
Universities are very good at creating things. Businesses excel at manufacturing and selling products.
But the two sectors rarely work together in Ohio, something that has stifled economic growth, according to officials from around the state who are preparing a plan to commercialize university research.
"We need to innovate on the process of innovation," University of Akron President Luis Proenza said at a public forum Thursday organized by the Ohio Board of Regents, which is developing a report it expects to become a state and national model.
"For 50 years we have been doing the same thing the same way. The biggest disconnect in innovation is that less than six percent of the research done at universities is done with businesses," Proenza said. "This is a huge opportunity. We need to collaborate with industry."
That is the hoped-for result from the report's recommendations, which will be presented to Gov. John Kasich and state legislators by the end of June, said Vinod Gupta, a regent heading the task force and an executive-in-residence at JumpStart, a Cleveland nonprofit that provides support and initial investments to early-stage businesses.
A total of more than 500 people, including top leaders of industry and higher education institutions, have attended meetings across the state to discuss how universities should commercialize inventions to create, expand and attract businesses, he said.
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