Thursday, September 25, 2014

Risky Business?

In an earlier posting, we noted UCLA was on the verge of presenting its new technology enterprise to the news media.  Here is the LA Times' version:

UCLA on Wednesday launched a new, not-for-profit affiliate and advisory board that will seek to increase the number of patents stemming from faculty research, then get the inventions and discoveries into the commercial realm faster.

Westwood Technology Transfer will help oversee the campus’ existing office for intellectual properties and industry-sponsored research. Its 10-member board of directors of financial, managerial, technological and academic experts will help identify promising research and forge licensing agreements, officials said.

“The goal is to accelerate and improve the decision-making and to accelerate the discoveries emerging from our labs and classrooms for social benefit,” said UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor Brendan Rauw, who is president and chief executive of the new oversight organization. “We think we can make smarter decisions and help contribute to the campus that way.”

UCLA holds about 700 patents. Last year the university earned about $39 million in licensing income, shared with the inventors, from those copyrights, Rauw said...

Full story at

This new entity seems linked to UC's creation of a venture capital business, a program that entails risk.  If you are in the business of picking winners, you can make mistakes.  The UCLA version is being described as mainly an improved marketing effort, but it is not clear whether any UCLA money is at risk.  If you go on the UCLA newsroom site, you don't (as of 3 pm today) find any background information.  Presumably, some info was provided to the LA Times.  It's funny that no media release dated yesterday (Wednesday) appears on the website.  Yours truly tried searching the newsroom under such terms as "Westwood," "innovation," "patents," etc., with no success.

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