Moving Beyond Commercialization:
Strategies to Maximize
the Economic and Social Impact of
Genomics Research
Yann Joly (McGill University),
Angus Livingstone (University of British Columbia),
Edward S. Dove (McGill University)
GENOME CANADA, GPS 2011 Series
September 27, 2011
OUTLINE
1. Commercialization
2. Valorization
3. Policy options, practical
considerations and
future research
questions
COMMERCIALIZATION
The process of extracting economic value out of
new products, processes, and knowledge through
the use of IP rights, licensing agreements, and the
creation of spin-off companies (Joly et al., 2010)
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Moving advances in knowledge and technology into the
commercial stream, where they can be put to work for
the public good (NRC Report, 2010).
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF
COMMERCIALIZATION
• Modest accomplishments in patenting
and licensing activities
• Almost no revenue generation
• Spin-off companies in difficulty
• Transfer problem in the biotechnology
sector
• Similar results in other developed
countries
ACADEMIC ISSUES (COMMERCIALIZATION)
• Data witholding?
• Conflicts of interest?
• Proliferation of MTAs?
• Blocking patents?
VALORIZATION
A broad concept encompassing all channels that
contributes to ensuring that the outcomes of
scientific knowledge add value beyond the scientific
domain (Benneworth and Jongbloed, 2010).
In this context, the importance of both economic and
social values should be recognized (NCHA, 2010).
Valorization is broader than commercialization, which
is motivated primarily by profit (Slaughter and Leslie
1997, 2001; Bridgman and Wilmott, 2007).
MAIN CHANNELS OF VALORIZATION
POLICY OPTIONS
1 - Unite stakeholders behind a
common, broader innovation
strategy
1 A) Valorization
or
1 B) Commercialization rebranded
POLICY OPTIONS
2- Improve open information
sharing to promote harmonization
2 A) Development of a national repository
and/or
2 B) Creation of university organizations to
coordinate valorization activities
POLICY OPTIONS
3- Reshape the mandate of TTOs, ILOs and
their equivalents
3 A) Broaden the mandate of TTOs
or
3 B) Create specific offices for each channel
of the valorization process
PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS
• Involve the private sector!
• Use research policies to promote
valorization (research funders –
universities)
• Develop common metrics/evaluation
tools to measure valorization activities
• Use IT to promote access and
harmonization
FUTURE RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• Do you agree that commercialization has not succeeded
in extracting optimal social and economic value from
university research in biotechnology?
• In this Brief, we took the position that promoting
innovation in genomic research does not necessitate a
specific strategy different from the one that applicable
to other types of academic science research.
Do you agree with this position?
What improvements specific to the promotion of
innovation in biotechnology research could be
suggested in this Brief?
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Yann Joly (McGill University)