Roll on Columbia, roll on
From the Columbia University Spectator:
When it comes to patents, Columbia is the big man across campuses.According to the University, patent-related deals pulled in more than $230 million in the 2006 fiscal year, more than almost any other university earned on such deals. The University has made patent-building one of its most significant endeavors, focusing on high-powered discoveries and pushing scientific research toward lucrative investment.
In light of this, other institutions have taken a cue; the Crimson reported in November 2004 that after Harvard made $24 million to Columbia’s $178 million in 2003, the university planned to overhaul its own technology transfer office in hopes of cashing in.
The article goes on to cite some individual patents that have brought in a lot of money, but the difference between Columbia and Harvard is not just random. Harvard has been hyper-vigilant about conflict of interest laws, to the point of discouraging industry collaboration and driving away some top innovators.
Former Harvard President Larry Summers understood this and hoped to make the climate more business-friendly, but that effort is now on hold.November 29, 2006