289215 Discovery to Delivery: The Role of Eulerian and Lagrangian Incentives in Translational Research

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 3:15 PM
Allegheny I (Westin )
Sangtae Kim, Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI

We are entering an era in which many universities are turning to translational research and the associated licensing revenue streams to make up for an anticipated shrinkage in traditional sources of funds. This shift in strategy is both encouraged and supported by recent actions of the major funding agencies. For the National Science Foundation’s “Gen-3” Engineering Research Centers (ERCs), the award selection criteria includes vetting of the proposed plan for navigating the “valley of death” from research to commercialization. For the NIH, the new NCATS – the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, has the mission to “catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions.”

These great aspirations for translational research face the reality of lackluster track records in technology transfer at most universities. Within this context, this presentation examines the incentive structures as a potential root cause for the less than stellar results (with the introduction of the key concepts of “Eulerian” and “Lagrangian” incentives) and offers several organizational strategies for universities that wish to venture into public-private partnerships and the formation of new institutes to boost translational research activities. The model will be illustrated with recent case studies involving medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

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