Milken Institute Ranks Best U.S. Universities for Technology Transfer, Cites Research Funding & Tech Transfer As Catalysts for Economic Growth, Makes Four Policy Recommendations

On April 20, 2017, the Milken Institute released a new report ranking more than 200 universities across the United States for their prowess in developing basic research into new technologies, products, and companies – a process known as "technology transfer." The report "Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer" ( also carries with it a clear policy recommendation: American research universities are among the nation's most powerful engines for domestic economic growth, and funding to sustain their research brings strong returns in the form of new industries, businesses, and jobs. "American economic vitality is fueled by invention," said Ross DeVol, chief research officer for the Milken Institute, who also authored the original 2006 study on the topic. "As a society, we understand our universities as the training ground for the next generation of leaders and doers, but we often overlook the benefits these institutions impart simply by bringing new ideas to life. Our study shows the impact of university research both locally and nationally is profound, and needs our support." The report found that university research funding supports the creation of both middle- and high-skill industry jobs through innovation, commercialization, and technology transfer, with varied and significant multiplier effects. As such, it makes four key policy recommendations:--Maintain basic scientific research funding. Basic research provides long-term economic benefits by allowing universities to take on research that has a low probability of quick commercial success, but potential to deliver a high reward and to create whole new industries.
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