Local higher ed missing the tech transfer boat
January 9, 2006
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
I'm calling for an
investigation in this town. Just how different is Silicon Valley
from Chicago? Are we doing enough to commercialize our homegrown
research and development? To start my investigation I decided
to download a book from Audible.com, and listen using my Apple
iPod mini. It makes me feel state-of-the-art here in the Midwest.
While I run each
day on the treadmill, I've been listening to The Google Story
by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post writer David Vise and
Mark Malseed, a contributor to the Post and the Boston Herald.
California start-up founded by two Stanford University Ph.D. students,
Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Google IPO'd Aug. 18, 2004 at $85
per share and was headed north of $445 per share when I last checked.
me dead on my treadmill was this quote about the entrepreneurial
environment at Stanford University: "The university did not
see a conflict between academics and financial rewards. Its primary
mission was to train the next generation of professors and academic
researchers. But it had also established itself as an incubator
for some of the world's most successful technology companies,
from Hewlett-Packard to Sun Microsystems."
imagine such words spoken about Northwestern, IIT, UIC, DePaul,
Loyola or the University of Chicago? The University of Chicago
doesn't even have an engineering school.
name three break-through companies incubated on these campuses?
I'm sure there are some, but there are no Googles.
Vise and Malseed
describe Stanford's office of technology licensing this way: "Unlike
MIT and some of the other leading research institutions, Stanford
made it extremely easy for students in its Ph.D. program to work
on potential commercial endeavors using university resources.
Its office of technology licensing also took a broad view of its
want that to become a barrier to technology transfer," says
Stanford President John Hennessy. "We have an environment
at Stanford that promotes entrepreneurship and risk-taking research.
now a Google board member.
of Illinois President Joseph White had some positive comments
on tech transfer when he addressed the City Club of Chicago last
year, but nothing as bold as Hennessy. Few in the audience even
took note of White's remarks on tech transfer. They were more
concerned about tuition levels at the University of Illinois.
search going on for a new president at the University of Chicago.
Maybe the search committee should consider Hennessy. I hope experience
catalyzing tech transfer is a search criteria. If the presidential
search committee is in doubt, members can check out The Google
Story. So should you.
Club of Chicago hosts three experts on China's emerging prowess
at a lunch forum Tuesday at the Palmer House Hilton. Speakers
are retired Motorola CEO Christopher Galvin and China Inc.
author Ted Fishman. Bill Daley, JPMorgan Chase Midwest chairman
and former U.S. Commerce secretary, will moderate the program
titled "China: Its Real Challenges and Yours."
should you expect on the digital horizon?
the MIT Enterprise Forum hosts its sixth annual Innovation and
Technology Forecast at the offices of Gardner Carton & Douglas.
Speakers include nanotech author and guru Dan Ratner; DiamondCluster
co-founder and author Chunka Mui; Op2mize President Geoffrey Kasselman;
and Midwest Entrepreneur Forum founder Jerry Mitchell.
local tech execs honored
IT executives are among Computerworld's 2006 premier 100 IT Leaders.
The top techies are: Wheels Inc. CIO Lawrence Buettner;
Smith Bucklin CIO John Fisher; Career Education
Corp. CIO Mark Griesbaum; Boeing CIO Scott
Griffin; Network Services CIO Michael Hugos;
Health Care Service Corp. CIO Patrick Moroney;
Honeywell Automation IT Infrastructure Director Michael
Parisi; Motorola Vice President Toby Eduardo
Redshaw; Grainger chief technologist George Rimnac;
Allstate Senior Vice President Michael Roche;
and former Aramark CIO William Westrate.
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.