In addition to conventional missions of education and research, universities are facing new demands to make more direct contribution to economic growth. Commercializing university research is a response to this new requirement. The US Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 is considered one of the key institutional arrangements which were intended to promote this trend. Despite the debate over the contributions and the seamy effects of the new institutional framework, the overall results of Bayh-Dole act are considered rather positively. After the US, many other countries have introduced similar laws at Bayh-Dole act. However, the outcomes are variously different; most of countries have not been successful in producing similar results as in the US.
Korea had introduced similar laws in the last decade. On the one hand, despite very late start, compared to other countries, such as US, Canada, Japan, and some European countries like Spain, Korea is showing very rapid, positive changes in university commercialization activities. On the other hand, however, there are many rooms for further improvement for university’s research commercialization activities in Korea. Based on the lessons derived from other countries’ experiences, the following points are worth mention:
(1) University-industry collaboration attracts more attention than before, since the linkage with public research system is increasingly important in technological innovation of the industry and business enterprises. There are various channels for universities to cooperate with industry: patenting and licensing are among those. Therefore, commercialization of university research should be viewed from a wider context of university-industry collaboration.
(2) The promotion of commercializing activities should not harm the core missions of university, namely education and research. It is generally argued that Bayh-Dole Act did not constrict a basic research activity of university but this argument is still being questioned. In case of Korean universities, licensing comprises only tiny share of incomes for various university-industry collaboration activities. Upgrading research capabilities is the most important, urgent task for university policies.
(3) The Industry-University collaboration system in Korea concentrates on quantitative performance indicators. Royalty income in Korean universities is significantly low in terms of the number of patents in comparison with other countries. It is due to the fact that universities count the number of patents for the performance evaluation of faculty so that patent applications are over issued despite no or little business value. It is necessary to modify the current evaluation and reward systems to reflect substantive outcomes including patent values.
(4) Experiences from UK offer a valuable lesson for Korea: government initiatives focusing on the ‘blind spot’ are effective in fostering commercialization activities. Successful commercialization does require coping with risks in the market; academic research usually is poor at dealing with. Government’s ‘additional’ support can make the outcome far more successful.
기초학문연구의 제도와 정책(2)(Change and effects of university research inventives)
대학 연구 인센티브 변화 및 효과
|Series Title; No||정책연구시리즈 / 2010-21|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Social Development < Education|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School of Public Policy and Management|