University Research as Growth Engine

A new study finds that university research plays a stronger role in promoting economic growth that previously thought. This report, sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation, specifically studied commercial spinoffs from research funded through the National Cancer Institute -- finding that of 1700 scientists funded over a four-year period -- 30% worked to develop commercial applications for their patents, including launching new businesses in regions around their universities:
"The investments in research and development are spilling out into the economy more than was appreciated," said David B. Audretsch, an economist at Indiana University, who also holds an appointment at the Max Planck institute. "These scientists are doing a lot more than sitting in labs and publishing papers."
The report emphasizes the importance of state governments deepening investments in their universities as a key tool for economic development.