Engineering Sustainable Innovation

Friday, February 12, 2016: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Marshall Ballroom South (Marriott Wardman Park)
Thomas M. Baer,Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Ongoing federal and private sector funding of basic science and fundamental research requires continual evidence of the accrued benefits resulting from these tax payer or shareholder investments.  This requirement mandates the existence of economic and educational ecosystems that support sustainable innovation—where innovation is defined as the translation of scientific discoveries into technologies that provide true benefit to society or tangible commercial opportunities.  These financial and educational ecosystems can exist in different types of institutions:  universities, government labs, emerging startups, and large established companies. I will describe basic economic models and the supporting infrastructure required to supply a steady source of financial resources for translational research and development, and appropriate channels for technology transfer and commercial development.  I will present some examples of case studies of institutions that have demonstrated successfully sustainable innovation ecosystems:   Stanford University, small, and large companies within Silicon Valley.