US: New York study of industry-university partnerships

The Task Force on Diversifying the New York State Economy through Industry-Higher Education Partnerships issued its final report last week. Governor David Paterson created the Task Force in May to examine how the State can better utilise its university-based research and development resources to drive economic growth. David Skorton, task force chair and President of Cornell University, joined fellow members to present their findings at the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan, reports EmpireStateNews.net.

Skorton said: "We know that New York has all the right ingredients to get our state moving to where we should be - as a national leader in innovation. But there are challenges we need to meet. Our task force has identified areas in which we can improve our practices and target investments so that we can foster an 'innovation ecosystem' to achieve sustainable economic growth in New York for the future." Key recommendations to create this 'innovation ecosystem, EmpireStateNews.net reports, include:

* University practices that raise awareness of entrepreneurship and industry-collaboration opportunities on and off campus; achieve world-class expertise through faculty recruitment and retention.
* Industry practices that leverage open innovation principles and university expertise to stay on the cutting edge; pursue long-term umbrella agreements with universities for access to a portfolio of intellectual property; and generate support for the adoption of a research and development tax credit.
* Access to Capital, which provides critical access to capital for university-based start-ups through the creation of a seed fund and the reduction or elimination of capital gains taxes for founding investors to bridge the 'valley of death'.
* Business services that include business plan counselling, entrepreneurial mentorship. Access to capital, incubator space and regional hubs.
* Critical mass in strategic areas that invests in fields where New York can be a world-leader - health care and life sciences, energy, nanotechnology, and agriculture and the food industry.
* State practices that create an Innovation Advisory Council consisting of leaders from government, academia, industry and the investment community to advise the governor and legislature on promoting New York's innovation economy; and collect and publish data relating to innovation capacity, activity and impact.
* Communication networks that facilitate collaboration between institutions of higher education and industry and the venture capital community.
* Metrics that measure state-wide and university-level performance on innovation capacity, activity and outcome.
Full report on the EmpireStateNews.net site