Government

Florida universities see income from technology grow


Income from technology licensing from research universities in Florida increased to over $47 million from 2005 to 2006, according to a survey of those institutions. The majority of those licenses were with start-up or small businesses, not corporations, as Florida researchers capitalized on 157 patents granted in 2006. More private investors are putting money into the universities' research efforts, which makes up for flat or falling federal funding of university research.

Read the South Florida Sentinel-Sun article.

Research funding has changed dramatically in the past two decades, with a shrinking portion of R&D dollars coming from the federal government and far more coming from corporations and private investors as well as state and local governments. Many people have written about the increasing numbers of foreigners who receive their degrees in the US, but then go back to their home countries as there are more opportunities and less red tape. Early last year, four senators proposed the "Protecting America's Competitive Edge" (PACE) Act, which would direct more funds to schools and universities for research.

America Isn't Ready (CNN Money)

4 Senators Introduce Bipartisan PACE Act (US Senate)

Scientists Concerned About Slowdown in US Government Research Spending (VOA News)

More private investment in R&D is not a bad thing in and of itself, but privately funded research typically comes with strings attached. Corporations and private equity firms want to see return on the money they invest whereas more of the developments are available to more people when funded by the government.

Should the government put more money into university research? What will we have to do to keep our competitive edge against China, India, and other countries who are churning out millions of college graduates every year? Should we try harder to keep foreign degree earners in the US to do research? Join the discussion.

2 comments
K7AAY
K7AAY

The University of Florida sees Gator Green in Gatorade and other inventions, so it's easy for them to want More. Can't blame them. However, my Florida educational experience was one of the best I've had, because I was learning in a no-research, we're-here-to-learn junior college instead of a mammoth research-driven machine. What's priority one? Research, or education? Inquiring minds want to know.

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

Should we continue to cede our R&D activities to corporations? One of the strengths of this country after WWII was the education that so many were able to get, which tied directly into the United States becoming the technical powerhouse that we have become. I am happy that corporations continue to pour money into research, but I believe that the federal government should also up their expenditures so that we can maintain our technological edge.

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