Institutions must work together to transfer technologies from academic research laboratories to those who will use them to create businesses and jobs, and ultimately boost southeast Wisconsin's economy, says a report released Monday by the Public Policy Forum.
"It is clear that the region's academic research institutions have yet to capture the full economic development potential of their research," says the report by the nonpartisan, nonprofit group. "By collaborating more closely to identify local discoveries that fill gaps in the global market, and by working together to help create or grow local players in that market, academic leaders could take better advantage of their rapidly emerging research prowess."
Academic researchers seeking to bring new technologies to market may or may not get assistance from their institution, if the institution doesn't have a strong entrepreneurial climate, the report says. The greatest opportunity for economic impact comes from start-ups and spin-outs, which tend to be local, it says.
"There is consensus that the quality of the research is high, but that there is more potential for economic impact in these discoveries than is currently realized," the report concludes. "The regional data, as compared to national averages, seem to bear this out."