Linking Ideas & Innovation

Archive for March, 2007

H-1B Visa Scramble is Nigh

Friday, March 30th, 2007

The perennial rush is on for the new round of U.S. H-1B immigration visas, the permits that allow U.S. companies to hire foreign skilled employees. 

Beginning tomorrow (technically April 2), the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services opens the doors for applications covering FY2008 (which begins October 1, 2007). The cap on these visas — long the crux of an important ongoing debate in Congress and around the country — currently is set at 65,000 permits for skilled workers with 20,000 extra visas set aside for those with advanced degrees.

Most of you likely are aware of the H-1B issue relative to whether the U.S. should raise or lower the overall cap on visa permits. Many are starting to argue that there should be no cap at all, that skilled immigrants contribute inestimable value to America’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

As it stands, Congress is in the middle of sorting out a new policy in regard to the cap. One question is whether a real groundswell arises in the short term among U.S. companies to pressure the government into dealing substantively with the cap. 

Policy issues notwithstanding, take a look a this informative article in workpermit.com for more on the H-1B. 


April ’07: Sign Up for an iBridge Information Session

Monday, March 26th, 2007
Since the iBridge Network’s formal launch at DEMO in January, we’ve held a series of WebEx-based conference calls with people interested in knowing more about the iBridge Network and the site. And thanks to all who have joined us these last few weeks or so. Laura Paglione, iBridge Network’s executive director, leads these sessions.   

For those who have yet to take part, here is our schedule of information sessions for April:

  • Monday, April 9, 1:00 PM Central
  • Thursday, April 19, 9:00 AM Central
  • Friday, April 27, 3:00 PM Central
  • Monday, April 30, 10:00 AM Central

Signing up is easy, and we very much welcome your participation. To get started, head to our dedicated online form and register your basic information. Once you do this, you’ll receive a confirmation email with all of the relevant information and with easy instructions to log into the session.

Any questions, send us an email at info@iBridgeNetwork.org. We look forward to having you join us for one or more of these sessions next month.


Nano Nexus 2007 Set for April 2-4, ’07

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

As with the technologies contained in the iBridge Network, nanotechnology covers a range of disciplines from chemistry and physics to electrical and mechanical engineering. Nano, of course, is of and about these disciplines but all at the sub-atomic level. (Wikipedia can you tell you a lot more on nano for anyone looking for a refresher.)

We bring this up to mention a major nanotech-focused conference taking place April 2-4, 2007 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The big event is Nano Nexus 2007, and sponsors include ORNL, east Tennessee’s Technology 2020, and the Kauffman Foundation. The iBridge Network will be there with an information booth, and we pledge to do plenty of blogging of the proceedings.

For quick background on this conference, its aim is bringing entrepreneurs, government, and universities under one roof to spur connections and networks on all things nano-related.

The event has three tracks: a graduate-student business competition (“Nano Idea to Product Competition”), a nanotechnology industry forum where researchers will share information and latest work, and a VC forum for nano-focused startups. To be sure, ORNL is doing a lot of work in this space (besides helping mind our nuclear stockpile), and has recently opened two major nano-related facilities, including its Spallation Neutron Source and its Center for Nanophase Materials Science.

On a final note, Nano Nexus 2007 organizers announced yesterday that 15 teams from 12 universities — including Duke, Georgia Tech, Texas, UVA, and Imperial College (UK) — have been selected to present their ideas as part of the conference’s “Nano Idea to Product Competition.” These university teams will be competing for a $25,000 grand prize.


AUTM Releases ’05 U.S. Licensing Survey

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

In the “we couldn’t say it better ourselves” department, we’re posting here for your quick consumption a summary of the newly released FY 2005 AUTM U.S. Licensing Survey (thanks to the National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship e-letter)

“The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) has recently released its latest numbers on university technology transfer and commercialization. The data (from Fiscal Year 2005) show that the process of moving research into the marketplace seems to be getting smoother. In FY 2005, 527 new products were made available to the public and both invention disclosures and patent applications increased.

Total spending (based on reports from 228 institutions) reached $1.1 billion. Washington is still the primary investor as federal funds accounted for 67% of this research support. Private sector funds accounted for only 7% of the total. AUTM has also begun tracking how university spin-off companies obtain their start-up financing.

Friends and family continue to be the primary source of such investments, but this year’s survey also shows an increase in funding from angel investors, institutional support and from the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR). Venture capital firms provide support for less than 20% of these start-up firms.”


Report on the 2007 State New Economy Index

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Once in a while, a major rankings and policy report comes out that becomes a must-read (in part because the rankings are by turns comprehensive and laser-like in their focus and the authors enjoy respected reputations). And so it is with The 2007 State New Economy Index (full disclosure: the Kauffman Foundation cosponsored this report) prepared by Dr. Robert D. Atkinson and Daniel K. Correa, both with the Washington, DC-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

This report, which has appeared twice before in 1999 and 2002, is a sprawling affair and covers nearly every nook and cranny in regard to how the U.S. states rank relative to their technology, innovation, and entrepreneurial assets. 

For this post, rather than focus on the rankings exclusively, it may be more of interest to readers here to see what Atkinson and Correa say in regard to universities relative to technology transfer and entrepreneurial activity across the 50 states.

On this front, Atkinson and Correa proclaim that “innovative capacity (derived through universities, R&D investments, scientists and engineers, and entrepreneurial drive) is increasingly what drives competitive success in the New Economy.” And when it comes to understanding how to evaluate properly economic growth in a state, the authors offer the reminder that it’s not about job creation — instead, it’s about per capita income. And the driver for growth in this metric is “innovation, not [by] capital accumulation.” 

In regard to colleges and universities and their respective state economies, the authors make several pointed recommendations focused on how to build dynamic innovation and entrepreneurial-based economies. First, they urge states to “enhance the role of colleges and universities” in spurring regional innovation and growth. “Between 1991 and 2004,” say Atkinson and Correa, “the number of patent applications filed by United States universities increased from 13.7 applications per institution to 57.8, licensing income increased from $1.96 million per university to $7.06 million, and new university-based start-ups increased from 212 in 1994, to 462 in 2004.”

In addition, the authors urge states to match their investments in their universities to prevailing state industry clusters. The report also recommends universities create programs to develop and recruit “star” scientists (“more than 90 percent of of the most significant university R&D is performed by just 10 percent of the faculty”) as well as urges states to “focus on commercialization of research” out of its university-based labs (and cites Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center and the Iowa State Innovation System as good examples of programs that spur connections between researchers and industry).

 


Leading Universities Release Tech Transfer “White Paper”

Friday, March 9th, 2007

As the AUTM 2007 Annual Meeting roars along through this weekend in San Francisco, a new white paper simultaneously has been released that should be of interest to all involved in technology research and commercialization.

The paper is titled In the Public Interest: Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology, and was authored by a collection of technology transfer directors at some of the U.S.’s leading reseach universities (including Cal Tech, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford).

For a good overview of what’s contained in this report, take a look at this week’s SSTI Weekly Digest. Among the report’s contents, according to SSTI, is a nine-point set of principles for how university technology licensing should be undertaken today, and includes recommendations such as “(e)xclusive licenses should be structured in a manner that encourages technology development and use.” 


Want to Learn More?

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

The interest in the iBridge Network and Web site continues to grow, which we are very excited about! In case you haven’t had the opportunity to join one of our information sessions, we’ve scheduled a few more in the coming weeks.

They are:

  • Mon, March 12, 11:00 AM Central
  • Fri, March 16, 2:00 PM Central
  • Tue, March 20, 3:00 PM Central
  • Wed, March 28, 10:00 AM Central

We hope that one of these times works for you! Please register for the meeting date by going to https://kauffman.webex.com. You will be asked to enter your contact information so that registration details can be e-mailed to you.

Don’t come alone! Feel free to extend this invitation to others in your organization. (Please note: All attendees must register separately on https://kauffman.webex.com.)

If you can’t make these times, don’t worry – we’ll offer more online information sessions in the months to come. Bookmark www.iBridgeNetwork.com and check back often for the latest news about the iBridge Network. Also, e-mail us at info@iBridgeNetwork.com, with any additional questions.

Remember, with the iBridge Network, you’re only one step away from finding your missing link!


Want to Learn More?

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

The interest in the iBridge Network and Web site continues to grow, which we are very excited about! In case you haven’t had the opportunity to join one of our information sessions, we’ve scheduled a few more in the coming weeks.

They are:

  • Mon, March 12, 11:00 AM Central
  • Fri, March 16, 2:00 PM Central
  • Tue, March 20, 3:00 PM Central
  • Wed, March 28, 10:00 AM Central

We hope that one of these times works for you! Please register for the meeting date by going to https://kauffman.webex.com. You will be asked to enter your contact information so that registration details can be e-mailed to you.

Don’t come alone! Feel free to extend this invitation to others in your organization. (Please note: All attendees must register separately on https://kauffman.webex.com.)

If you can’t make these times, don’t worry – we’ll offer more online information sessions in the months to come. Bookmark www.iBridgeNetwork.com and check back often for the latest news about the iBridge Network. Also, e-mail us at info@iBridgeNetwork.com, with any additional questions.

Remember, with the iBridge Network, you’re only one step away from finding your missing link!


Big 12 Innovation and Capital Formation Conference

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

richard_caruso.jpg

We want to alert readers to an important conference taking place at the Kauffman Foundation today. It’s the Big 12 Innovation and Capital Formation Conference (think of your favorite Big 12 college football club and then switch to some of the best research going on today in technology and research).

The Big 12 Center for Economic Development, Innovation, and Commercialization sponsored today’s conference.

Here’s the Web site for the conference in which you’ll see all of the things going on here, including an awards ceremony for rising research stars at each of these schools. There also are panels covering strategies for how universities can support its local entrepreneurs, capital formation strategies, the economic value of star faculty, and then the finale today is the university innovation showcase.

The keynote speaker at today’s lunch was Richard Caruso, PhD (photo above), chairman of Integra LifeSciences Corp. Dr. Caruso, in case you missed it, was named the overall Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2006. More details forthcoming through the day.



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William Garner, M.D., MPH – CEO of Urigen, N.A., Inc.

"The iBridge Network provides an important additional pathway for entrepreneurs to access university innovations that may otherwise have been lost.  read more...