Friday, December 25, 2009

Several at UW-Madison have had success transferring university research to the private sector. Stem cell research pioneer Jamie Thomson and colleagues from UW-Madison, for instance, founded Madison-based Cellular Dynamics international, a company that develops stem-cell technologies for drug testing and personalized medicine applications.

Gopher wishes University of Minnesota

were more like UW

From Madison Campus Connection:

While it's easy to disregard compliments of Wisconsin's flagship institution or the state's business climate when they come from internal cheerleaders, it's a little harder when the one singing the praises is a rival.

"Wisconsin as a state has done far more to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that can really support the innovation that comes out of the university, help convert it to jobs and products, and help keep them in the state," Tim Mulcahy, the University of Minnesota's vice president for research, told the Star Tribune. "I'm afraid the business climate, in terms of incentives for small companies to either relocate or start up here, are not as strong here as in Wisconsin. So even though both states have strong public research universities, I think the impact in Wisconsin is greater because the field is more fertile there in terms of state public policy around job creation and entrepreneurship. And that's something we need to correct in Minnesota."

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis/St. Paul quoted Mulcahy in this editorial, which applauded the University of Minnesota for its $683 million in research and development expenditures in 2008, according to a report from the National Science Foundation. That puts Minnesota ninth nationally in those NSF rankings.

UW-Madison ranks No. 2 on the NSF's list of top research institutions, with $882 million in expenditures in 2008. The University of California, San Francisco, ranks No. 1 with $885 million in expenditures.

If you're wondering how Mulcahy knows so much about Wisconsin, it's because he was lured to the Twin Cities in 2005 after spending 20 years at UW-Madison, where he was associate vice chancellor for research policy his final three-plus years on campus. Mulcahy also was named one of four finalists to become UW-Madison's next chancellor in the spring of 2008. Mulcahy withdrew his name from consideration for that post before it went to Biddy Martin.

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