Adam B. Jaffe, expert in innovation and knowledge transfer:“We need to incentivate researchers and universities to look for a commercial development for their research”


Adam B. Jaffe backs the introduction of stronger incentives and new ways of funding to improve the University’s contribution to development. In the Symposium University, Innovation, Territory (IEB), he also warned that cuts in research budgets may make it difficult to find ways out of the crisis


Professor Adam B. Jaffe (University of Brandeis, USA), an internationally recognized expert in the study of knowledge transfer and innovation, defends that "the incentives for researchers and universities to find commercial applications are key to improving the contribution of university research to society". He delivered the keynote adress in the Simposyum University, Innovations and Territory (15th-16th September) and recalled that, with this incentive system, there were more than 3,500 startups in the US in 2009 based on technology developed at the university; private companies in the US invested over 54 bn dollars in university research, and income from patents from university centres amounted to 2.3 bn dollars (compared with 2.6 million euros in Spain).

But beyond the technological advances and patents, Jaffe also recalled that the major contribution of universities to society is to train highly qualified future workers, and recalled that "a country, region or territory that does not have an educated workforce cannot thrive". He also warned that cuts in research budgets at the university or the company may make it difficult for certain sectors to find ways out of the crisis.