In a post last week, I talked about the Minister’s views on RS&T policy, and mentioned that it is not just about “making it easier for business to be in touch with universities”, it is ultimately how the two interact that will be important. I have recently been informed about the University of Virgina Patent Foundation (UVAPF). Their role is to see research conducted at the university commercialised – something they are very successful at doing.
While NZ universities are a lot smaller, and don’t generate nearly as many inventions as the U.Va might, I think the modus operandi of the UVAPF is something we can learn from here in NZ. I have myself witnessed some brilliant technologies falling by the wayside, in part due to unrealistic expectations of industry by universities, essentially a lack of adherence to the principles so central to the way the UVAPF operates.
The goal of most researchers I think is for their research to ultimately be used for public good. Being open, fair and fast are conducive to making this happen. After all, surely it is better to have something out in the world being used, than something sitting on a scrapheap with nobody seeing any gain.