The Commercialization and Tech Transfer task force outlined a model for greater collaboration and authority among LSU System campuses in its first meeting Wednesday in Shreveport.
Multiple task forces identified the University’s current model of authority as a main hindrance to efficiency, especially with regard to tech transfer, said SSA Consultant Christel Slaughter.
“We realize we have some pieces in place for startup companies, licenses and patents, but we’re missing some pieces,” Slaughter said. “If you have really great researchers, you need a great tech transfer model.”
Slaughter said determining where the University should invest is the Board of Supervisors’ real role, while the role of the LSU president will be to improve the tech transfer metric among campuses. Authority to make decisions should lie with those who have the most expertise in each area, not with the LSU president or Board of Supervisors, she said.
These changes will result in greater collaboration among departments and campuses, potentially including institutions outside of the LSU System.
Streamlining processes and managing the institution’s intellectual property are the keys to success, associate provost for Economic Development and director of the Georgia BioBusiness Center Margaret Wagner Dahl said at the meeting.
Dahl, who has investigated the processes of the LSU Health Science Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport and Pennington Biomedical Research Center, said working together in fields that don’t usually go together, like science and business, can sometimes produce the best results.
Slaughter said the research task force meeting will present a report card for the University’s current tech transfer model, and the model’s grade will serve as an outline for what needs improvement and what should stay the same.
The task force will determine which new investments are most important in the next meeting, Slaughter said.
Slaughter said re-evaluating current practices and encouraging collaboration among researchers and scientists throughout the System would facilitate discoveries that will set the University apart from others.
“It’s going to take more resources, but will bring us even more,” Slaughter said.