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The Importance that Academic Spin-offs can have on the Economy: A Study from the United States

The Importance that Academic Spin-offs can have on the Economy: A Study from the United States
Friday, 10 November 2017

A study published in June of 2017 shows the impact that University and Non-profit inventions have had on the US economy from 1995-2015 [1]. This study shows how the U.S. legal system is set up in a way that American research universities are able to partner with industry and turn public research into new products. By commercializing this university-based research, new companies and good jobs are being created, promoting innovation and supporting the American economy. [2]

During the 20 years of the study it is estimated that the gross output ranges from $320 billion to $1.33 trillion (using the 2009 dollar as a base-line). In addition, the number of jobs supported by these institutions during this time are anywhere from 1.268 million jobs to over 4.272 million jobs. [2]

These numbers show a remarkable impact that the University and research based companies can have on the economy.
The U.S. is lucky to have this entrepreneurial drive within its universities, something that is not seen as much in other parts of the world. Indeed, 9 of the top 10 and 21 of the top 25 patenting universities are found in America [3]. This doesn’t mean that all attempts are successful; in fact, both the investment and the risk of failure are high. However, the national policy continues to support R&D at a national level. [2]

This leads us to question the implementation of R&D in other parts of the world. In the case that we decide that promoting academic spin-offs, should we be imitating the American model or should we find our own way?

[1] https://www.bio.org/sites/default/files/June%202017%20Update%20of%20I-O%20%20Economic%20Impact%20Model.pdf
[2] http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/06/20/academic-patent-licensing-helps-drive-u-s-economy/id=84778
[3] http://www.academyofinventors.com/pdf/top-100-universities-2016.pdf