Financial realities have recently prompted the University of Toledo to cut millions of dollars from its operating budget, raise tuition prices, limit class offerings and increase class size. Despite these hardships, the school is defending its decision to maintain current funding levels for its technology transfer office, insisting that such investments will yield significant commercial and societal returns.
"The world is calling on universities the last five years to spend more time, effort and commitment building the civic infrastructure of the communities in which they find themselves," university president Lloyd Jacobs told the Toledo Blade. "Indeed, there has been discussion that [economic development] is yet another mission for universities … and this university has a long history in that."
For example, one of the most promising innovations currently under development within Toledo labs in emerging medical technique which may inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells that have formerly been immune to chemotherapy. If and when the treatment clears clinical trials, there are certain to be several commercial entities vying for a partnership.
Nevertheless, the office's patent management strategies may be under increased scrutiny in the interim considering just one of its associated startup companies has demonstrated profitability to date.