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Votes and Comments for Question A

Participant

Institution/Country

Vote

Confidence level

Comment

David Teece

University of California Berkeley/United States

Disagree

8

Universities should have the opportunity to gain revenues. If a university wants to provide the technology free, they don't have to patent it. But why take away their choice?

Annu Kotiranta

Research Institute of the Finnish Economy/Finland

Uncertain

8

Typically research universities in Finland do not patent inventions unless there is a clear potential for commercial interest and exploitation. Provision to exploit patents fee-free or royalty free could be considered and/or encouraged in cases where the research leading to the invention and patent has been publicly funded.

Mark Dodgson

University of Queensland/Australia

Agree

8

This would be useful, but there could be some internal organization tensions created. Essentially the PRO would be telling their employee inventors that they are giving away the IP and no longer exploring its commercial exploitation.

Luiz Martins de Melo

Funding Authority for Studies and Projects (FINEP)/Brazil

Uncertain

7

They are public. So, they must be free and exploited through partnerships.

Chan-Yuan Wong

University of Malaya/Malaysia

Uncertain

8

There are patents commercially unexploitable but impactful (to the society). One must assess and see if a decision to make such patent fee free would affect the impact.

Patries Boekholt

Technopolis/Netherlands

Agree

7

The sleeping patent has been developed supported by public funding. While its original developers can not find use for it, or do not have the time/resources/commitment to exploit it others whether in the private or public sector could use this patent. By providing access to those with an interest, good use of public investments could come out of it.

Kaye Fealing

Georgia Tech/United States

Agree

8

The public good aspect of the funding should yield more than just private returns. In addition, ideas embodied in patents that could be commercialized if combined with knowledge outside the original organization might lead to innovations with positive social benefit.

Uwe Cantner

Friedrich Schiller University Jena/Germany

Disagree

8

The problem here is that one needs to know why a patent has the status of a sleeping patent: in case anybody knows about the patent then the sleeping-status presumably is due to no commercial value - to give it away for free is no problem; conditions for that need not be formulated. In case this patent is not known then the problem is not the license fee or royalty but an information gap. In this case the patent holder should be encouraged to inform about the patent; this provided potential users will indicate an commercial value they see and in case that is positive in accordance (by negotiation) a fee or royalty may be contracted on. Hence the free-fee or free-royalty aspect as in the statement above will not solve the problem of sleeping patents.

Mohamed Ramadan

Academy of Scientific Research and Technology/Egypt

Strongly Agree

8

The encouragement should be in the form of an initiative or program to support innovations.

Oliver Gassmann

University of St. Gallen/Switzerland

Disagree

9

Sleeping patents are blocking the technological progress. But the freedom to make decisions on the outcome of an investment – R&D, time, resources – is the core of entrepreneurship and therefore is more important than the potential use of patents.

Susana Borrás

Copenhagen Business School/Denmark

Strongly Agree

10

Public-funded research conducted in public-funded and public-owned research organizations have naturally an obligation to generate value for the benefit of society. If it is not possible to find a commercial demand for that patent (due to market failure - typically because the market is too small, and/or exploiting the knowledge in the patent is too expensive), then royalty- and fee-free licenses are a good way to create value from their “sleeping patents”.

Margaret Kyle

MINES ParisTech/France

Uncertain

5

Public research organizations should be encouraged to find licensors of sleeping patents, but it isn’t obvious that requiring a royalty-free license is the best way of doing so. If the patents are available royalty-free, the university’s technology transfer office may have no incentive to find licensors, and the inventors may have no interest in transferring associated tacit knowledge.

Catalina Martínez García

CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies/Spain

Disagree

8

PROs do not choose to have ‘sleeping patents’, the term is generally used for business patents. As non-practicing entities, all PRO patents are available for licensing, but not all of them find a licensee. Given the cost of international extensions and patent renewals and tight PRO budgets, after a while, commercially unexploited patents held by PROs would fall in the public domain anyway. If PROs decide to have royalty-free licensing policies for some of their patents in exchange of the licensee’s sharing (not only reporting) progress, they should announce it up front (e.g. patent commons) rather than make it conditional on not finding licensees.

Ian Hughes

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation/Ireland

Agree

6

Patents are a means of allowing risk takers who invest in R&D to appropriate returns on their investment, but they can have adverse effects, such as restricting the flows of new knowledge and new technology. A balance needs to be struck for patents held by public research organisations, between gaining financial rewards for the institutions involved and for the public purse, and encouraging knowledge flows and increased innovation in the national innovation system as a whole. On balance, I think encouraging PROs to make sleeping patents available, as suggested, would be a good thing.

Jan Wessels

VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik/Germany

Agree

6

Many universities are not able to use the patents they own, which is a waste of (publicly funded) research effort. In addition, licensing of patents does not always finance the work of patent transfer units, so a royalty- and fee-free use could lead to a better exploitation of a common good.

Sylvia Schwaag Serger

Vinnova/Sweden

Uncertain

5

I’m in favor of increasing the broad accessibility of knowledge to ensure its optimal utilization but the statement above raises a few questions: what is the time frame for determining when a patent is commercially unexploited? Efforts to increase the extent to which patents are made available are laudable and important (especially with regard to results from publicly funded research) but I’m not sure that making them available on a royalty- and fee-free basis is the best way to ensure their optimal utilization.

Magnus Gulbrandsen

University of Oslo/Norway

Uncertain

9

In principle this is a good idea. But it is unclear whether it will have any effects at all, and it still partly rests on a linear conception of innovation. It risks increasing university bureaucracy and may take attention away from promoting more direct linkages between research and teaching communities and external users and practitioners.

Ebrahim Souzanchi Kashani

Sharif University of Technology/Iran

Strongly Agree

6

In my view, many of public organizations in developing countries are not able to commercialize their patents and research findings. As they are normally all being supported by public funds, therefore this idea is not against private interests, but increases the profile of public knowledge.

Frédérique Sachwald

Observatoire des sciences et des techniques (OST)/France

Disagree

7

I disagree on the proposition as it is formulated because this may be a false-good idea if it is not implemented in good conditions, in particular with an examination of the characteristics of the patents and patent portfolio.

Uri Gabai

Israel Innovation Authority

Agree

8

Flow of knowledge is extremely important in an ecosystem. Sleeping patents should be 'woken up' by a convenient mechanism. However, the mechanism described here isn't necessarily the only one.

Jaideep Prabhu

University of Cambridge/United Kingdom/India

Agree

7

Failure to make this IP available will be the equivalent of burning money. The IP should be put to work for public benefit, with some oversight.

Paola Giuri

University of Bologna/Italy

Agree

8

Encouraging the exploitation of academic patents through licensing, and the subsequent dissemination of further developments may be beneficial, especially for science based patents, where the initial stage of development and high level of uncertainty make them difficult to exploit without additional investments in translation of inventions in commercially usable innovations and products.

Robert Atkinson

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation/United States

Uncertain

3

Depends what you mean by encouraged: if you mean encourage, as in positive incentive, I would be inclined to agree. If you mean forced, I would not. In addition, my worry is that they would give the patents to companies from other nations and defeat the economic development purpose.

Luc Soete

UNU-Merit/Netherlands

Agree

9

Commercially-unexploited patents have little value to PROs yet often represent a significant burden to those organisations. Open access to such patents should be part of the open science vision.

Luis Sanz-Menendez

CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies/Spain

Agree

9

All knowledge produced and protected should be accessible for potential use and exploitation.

Mari Jose Aranguren

Basque Institute of Competitiveness/Spain

Agree

6

-

Sonja Radas

The Institute of Economics, Zagreb/Croatia

Agree

7

-

Keun Lee

Seoul National University Korea

Did Not Answer

Katrin Hussinger

University of Luxembourg/Luxembourg

Did Not Answer

Stefan Kuhlmann

University of Twente/Netherlands

Did Not Answer

Melissa Ardanche

Comisión Sectorial de Investigación Científica/Uruguay

Did Not Answer

Marina Yue Zhang

University of New South Wales/Australia

Did Not Answer

Sami Mahroum

INSEAD/United Arab Emirates

Did Not Answer

Dominique Foray

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Switzerland

Did Not Answer

Maryann Feldman

University of North Carolina/United States

Did Not Answer

Reinhilde Veugelers

KU Leuven/Belgium

Did Not Answer

Charles Edquist

Lund University/Sweden

Did Not Answer

Dirk Meissner

National Research University Higher School of Economics/Russia

Did Not Answer

Wolfgang Polt

Janneum Research/Austria

Did Not Answer

Ganesh Rasagam

World Bank

Did Not Answer

Yasunori Baba

University of Tokyo/Japan

Did Not Answer

Juan Mateos-Garcia

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)/United Kingdom

Did Not Answer

Votes and Comments for Question B

Participant

Institution/Country

Vote

Confidence level

Comment

Dominique Foray

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Switzerland

Did Not Answer

Ganesh Rasagam

World Bank

Did Not Answer

Sylvia Schwaag Serger

Vinnova/Sweden

Uncertain

6

Education needs to be become more multidisciplinary more generally, focusing only on teaching STEM graduates entrepreneurship seems too narrow. Philosophers should take entrepreneurship courses, archaeologists should study programming, business students should study anthropology etc.

Jan Wessels

VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik/Germany

Strongly Disagree

8

Participation in entrepreneurship training courses may help for commercializing project results, but collaboration with firms and licensing is an additional, sometimes better way of transfer. Scientific excellence should remain to be the central selection criteria for research projects.

Luc Soete

UNU-Merit/Netherlands

Disagree

5

Entrepreneurship training courses provide no guarantee for greater success yet at the same time represent an additional barrier for research project applications.

Stefan Kuhlmann

University of Twente/Netherlands

Did Not Answer

Yasunori Baba

University of Tokyo/Japan

Did Not Answer

Oliver Gassmann

University of St. Gallen/Switzerland

Disagree

9

In entrepreneurship courses one can learn how to use methods and techniques. But many entrepreneurs don’t need this courses. Moreover, we still need basic research without direct entrepreneurial link.

Mark Dodgson

University of Queensland/Australia

Disagree

9

Entrepreneurship training courses could be very valuable for many STEM projects, but should not be compulsory.

Magnus Gulbrandsen

University of Oslo/Norway

Strongly Disagree

8

As far as I know, numerous studies have shown no relationship between entrepreneurship courses and actual entrepreneurial actions. A wider training in aspects of innovation, entrepreneurship and the relationship between science and society should probably be part of researcher training. Having it as a funding criterion, however, is a risk to the legitimacy of the funding instrument.

Maryann Feldman

University of North Carolina/United States

Did Not Answer

Marina Yue Zhang

University of New South Wales/Australia

Did Not Answer

Chan-Yuan Wong

University of Malaya/Malaysia

Uncertain

8

One must define the purpose/outcome of the course. One who taken the course does not necessary mean that he/she has acquired the entrepreneurial skills and required tacit knowledge.

Katrin Hussinger

University of Luxembourg/Luxembourg

Did Not Answer

Jaideep Prabhu

University of Cambridge/United Kingdom/India

Agree

6

I agree with this statement as I believe strongly in applying research to social and economic ends (i.e., commercialization). However, I’m hesitant to press for this too strongly as I don’t want to impose too many demands on specialized labor (i.e., scientists) especially those who don’t have entrepreneurial instincts or ambitions.

David Teece

University of California Berkeley/United States

Strongly Disagree

8

We shouldn't corrupt research with a requirement for entrepreneurial training. Such training is of questionable value. Opportunity should be there, but not another requirement, please.

Paola Giuri

University of Bologna/Italy

Uncertain

7

Project based research funds should be allocated according to the quality of the research project, and the expectation to obtain excellent research results (thus the quality of researchers and ability to manage the project is crucial).

Sonja Radas

The Institute of Economics, Zagreb/Croatia

Strongly Disagree

10

In my experience the best STEM scientists do not make the best business people. If there is a strong reason for for having someone with a business expertise in a project, it would be more efficient to include a person who is a specialist in required business knowledge as a team member.

Patries Boekholt

Technopolis/Netherlands

Strongly Disagree

8

Not all excellent scientists /engineers have the interests/qualities to become an entrepreneur or have the entrepreneurial context to make their scientific /engineering achievements a commercial success. Forcing entrepreneurship on all might deter good scientist/engineers. Let people be excellent in what they are best at. An alternative approach could be to match scientists/engineers with people with entrepreneurial skills. In addition, the scientific /engineering activities might have huge societal impact potential, not necessarily commercial potential in the market place.

Ebrahim Souzanchi Kashani

Sharif University of Technology/Iran

Agree

9

I have interviewed several researches or academic staffs who have developed an artefact and established a firm in order to commercialize them. Most of them then condemned their un-awareness of business matters that prevented their successful growth. Therefore, even I would suggest that to have MBA courses for those who their applications are accepted.

Keun Lee

Seoul National University Korea

Did Not Answer

Annu Kotiranta

Research Institute of the Finnish Economy/Finland

Disagree

10

The research group’s ability to commercialize their results should be one of the criteria’s for project based research funding. However, this ability should rather be ensured by creating research consortiums where research excellence is coupled with interests and ability to commercialize, i.e. companies or commercialization experts, instead of entrepreneurship training courses.

Frédérique Sachwald

Observatoire des sciences et des techniques (OST)/France

Disagree

8

A more general course(s) on technology transfer/valorisation of research results should be/are included in research training at least at the Ph. D level. It would be better to advise such inclusion in curricula.

Dirk Meissner

National Research University Higher School of Economics/Russia

Did Not Answer

Juan Mateos-Garcia

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)/United Kingdom

Did Not Answer

Margaret Kyle

MINES ParisTech/France

Disagree

7

Such training may be of questionable quality and irrelevant for many projects.

Charles Edquist

Lund University/Sweden

Did Not Answer

Reinhilde Veugelers

KU Leuven/Belgium

Did Not Answer

Wolfgang Polt

Janneum Research/Austria

Did Not Answer

Uri Gabai

Israel Innovation Authority

Strongly Disagree

10

As far as government funding is concerned, this should not be a requirement. The best entrepreneurs many times became successful through learning by doing and without formal training.

Sami Mahroum

INSEAD/United Arab Emirates

Did Not Answer

Robert Atkinson

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation/United States

Disagree

4

I would be more likely to support this if it was in the form of giving extra weight or points to teams that had these capabilities and an interest in commercialization.

Kaye Fealing

Georgia Tech/United States

Uncertain

6

I think that these teams should certainly have RCR training. However, entrepreneurship training seems to stress commercialization more than I think necessary.

Luiz Martins de Melo

Funding Authority for Studies and Projects (FINEP)/Brazil

Strongly Disagree

10

This is related to the capital human concept. Which means that every n human being must behaviour as a competitive enterprise. This is the basis of the neoliberal ideology. 

Uwe Cantner

Friedrich Schiller University Jena/Germany

Disagree

9

I think that the competence to compete for an run a project should not be conditioned on having particpated in entrepreneurship courses. Such regulation highly likely willnot lead to better projects but only to a smaller pool of applicants - not necessarily the better ones.

Ian Hughes

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation/Ireland

Strongly Disagree

9

Public research funding for researchers in Higher Education Institutions is an important component of any national innovation system. It's role is to fund R&D across all disciplines, and with applications spanning research for knowledge, research for policy, and research with potential commercial application. While entrepreneurship training courses may be relevant to many researchers, they are not relevant for all, and should certainly not be mandatory as a precondition for receiving public research funding.

Catalina Martínez García

CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies/Spain

Disagree

8

Not all research projects have to lead to marketable results, some research projects may be more basic or fundamental than others by nature, and still contribute substantially to innovation, although not directly, immediately or in a straightforward way. Moreover, not all researchers have to be entrepreneurs, and in any case following an entrepreneurship training course would not transform researchers into entrepreneurs. Rather than an obligation, it should be an option available, for those who feel the need.

Luis Sanz-Menendez

CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies/Spain

Disagree

9

I do not find logical connection between the two process of searching/researching and entrepreneurship. That could produce negative side effects changing the incentives from exploration to exploitation (from basic to applied research).

Susana Borrás

Copenhagen Business School/Denmark

Disagree

7

Entrepreneurship courses for STEM researchers are good and must be encouraged. However, they should not be made compulsory for applying to public funding. It is important to support STEM research activities even when there is no direct applicability of that knowledge, and researchers are not directly interested in becoming or engaging with entrepreneurs. What would have been of researchers like Niels Bohr or Albert Einstein if those criteria were to be implemented?

Melissa Ardanche

Comisión Sectorial de Investigación Científica/Uruguay

Did Not Answer

Mari Jose Aranguren

Basque Institute of Competitiveness/Spain

Disagree

8

Entrepreneurship training courses are not a warranty of having good capabilities to develop a good project.

Mohamed Ramadan

Academy of Scientific Research and Technology/Egypt

Disagree

6

to encouraged all idea, the training may be at a later stage.

How you would have voted? Let us know in the comment section below

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