AUTM Newsbrief
April 21, 2011

University patents and our forgotten entrepreneurs
Blogging Innovation
One of the original intentions of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 was to make federally-funded U.S. university research more readily available to small businesses. It worked. Today, three decades later, universities do a brisk business licensing patents to small, technology-based businesses. Each year, roughly half of the patent licenses that universities sign are to small technology-based firms managed by regional entrepreneurs. More

The newly engaged university
The Australian
The commercialization strategy of university engagement with business is withering on the vine, and novel kinds of connection are emerging. These involve new forms of collaboration and require new types of skills. The old strategy of intellectual property protection, licensing and company spinoffs was always based on the false premise that it would lead to substantial new income flows. With its restrictions on knowledge movement and prohibitive bureaucracy, it alienated collaborators in business and universities, and its supporting infrastructure invariably cost more than it delivered.More

GOP legislators want universities to report on stem cell use
Detroit Free Press
Some Republican lawmakers want to know exactly how Michigan's research universities are using stem cells. They want the universities to report how many human embryos they have and how many stem cell lines they have created using them. The measure was tucked into the higher education funding bill passed along a party-line vote in a higher education subcommittee. The same method was tried last year to get the measure passed, but it failed.More

From 'reset' to technology transfer
Inside Higher Education
A major foreign policy goal of the Obama administration has been to "reset" U.S.-Russian relations, building ties between the two nations at all levels. Several Russian university presidents said that the closer relationship was helping them build much closer ties to American higher education, with a focus on expanding research collaboration and embracing something close to an American style of technology transfer — a relatively new development for Russia.More

Scientists teleport light
ABC Science
Researchers from Australia and Japan have successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionizing quantum communications and computing. The team, led by researchers at the University of Tokyo, say this is the first ever teleportation, or transfer, of a particular complex set of quantum information from one point to another. They say it will make possible high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via communications networks. The research appears today in the journal Science.More

Send in the robots to pick the ripest fruit
Robotics researchers at Israel's Ben-Gurion University have received a $1.3 million grant to develop intelligent sensing and manipulation algorithms for robots that can zone in on the highest value crops to pick. The project is part of "cRops" (Clever Robots for Crops), a European Union Seventh Framework program. cRops will develop the scientific know-how and several prototype systems to harvest greenhouse peppers, orchard fruits and premium wine grapes.More

Energy bags under the sea to be tested to store offshore wind
An innovative new way to store wind power has been invented by researchers at United Kingdom's University of Nottingham. Literally in inflatable bags under the ocean. A university spinoff, NIMROD Energy Ltd, has been launched by Professor Seamus Garvey, based on the research. More

Autodesk fires up green materials design tool
Software company Autodesk has launched a new system that it claims will make it far easier for designers to work out the environmental impact of their products before they go into production. The United States firm has created the Eco Materials Adviser in partnership with Granta, a United Kingdom spinoff from Cambridge University that has developed a database of design and environmental information on different materials, ranging from tensile strength to carbon footprint and the amount of water needed for its production.More

Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible
The researchers found a way to make an "optical battery," said Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics. In the process, they overturned a century-old tenet of physics. "You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We've all been taught that this doesn't happen," said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics.More