Michael D. Moberly July 2, 2008
Why should university researchers, research administrators, and technology transfer directors care there’s effective stewardship, oversight, and management of sponsored research projects?
The short answer is because most (corporate) sponsors would want them to because they recognize the risks and vulnerabilities to having the projected competitive advantages, innovation, and value related to the research product undermined, diluted, or circumvented by an economic – competitive adversary.
The longer answer is because:
1. value within knowledge-based (research) assets is perishable and generally non-renewable and irretrievable, i.e., once know how, proprietary, or otherwise, is lost or compromised, its likely gone forever.
2. conventional IP protections, i.e., patents, copyrights, and trademarks no longer constitute stand alone deterrents to would be infringers, misappropriators, product counterfeiters, or insiders.
An equally important, but unfortunately, frequently dismissed or unutilized rationale for universities to become adept at providing more direct stewardship, oversight, and management of sponsored research is that they could leverage same as responsible and forward looking elements to attract (compete for) additional and future university – corporate research alliances.
Collectively, stewardship, oversight, and management practices for research programs would literally constitute intangible assets that add genuine value and convey respect to relationships, in addition to the real importance of reducing the probability – vulnerability the research will be compromised or otherwise adversely impacted prior to delivery of the findings-outcomes to its sponsor.
The perception that university-based research is removed from and/or immune to all worldly concerns is obviously myth, certainly not reality!