Late last week, Penn State University enacted several crucial changes to its intellectual property policies governing industry-sponsored research. As a result, officials now believe that barriers to innovation have been meaningfully lowered, placing the university in prime position to advance the nation's economic recovery.
According to Penn State Live, administrators have ceded their IP rights to the results of research projects conducted in collaboration with industrial sponsors.
"In short, we are doing it because we consider the net present value of the interactions and relationships that our faculty and students have with industrial professionals to be very important and therefore greater than the apparent future value of the proceeds from such intellectual property," explained PSU vice president Hank Foley. "Our goal then is to flatten any and all barriers or impediments to innovation and that includes our own past stance on intellectual property."
Foley acknowledged that, now more than ever, research universities are being called upon to drive a nation in "desperate need of innovation and an economic lift." By incentivizing corporate involvement, administrators also hope to foster a sense of entrepreneurship among students as they rub shoulders with industry professionals.