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Monday, February 14, 2011
The North Campus Research Complex, Technology Transfer, and the Public Interest
4:00 PM -  5:30 PM

For the past thirty years, significant policy attention has been given to improving the transfer of technology from universities to private industry in an effort to improve U.S. global competitiveness. These policies have changed the academic model from one of passive knowledge production into one of aggressive participation in the innovation ecosystem. The University of Michigan's new venture accelerator, the North Campus Research Complex, is one example of this trend. However, we must continue to scrutinize the effects of this new alignment of university and industrial interests on public interest research-or non-commercializable research done solely to benefit the public. Is public interest research waning? Can we bolster public interest research in academia by improving the transfer of non-commercial knowledge to nonprofit or public organizations? This paper discusses the history of university-industry interaction, explores several models of successful non-commercial technology transfer mechanisms, and suggests an expanded purview for the North Campus Research Complex.