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Seattle Business Magazine: “UW as an Idea Factory”

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UW’s new Vice Provost for Innovation Vikram Jandhyala appears to be in the bullseye …

A wide-ranging article with a great deal of interesting material (if, occasionally, an overly negative tone):

“Now, after years of slow but steady progress, the UW is poised to break out of the old clothing of the research-dominated institution and try on a new outfit as one of the country’s most entrepreneurially focused centers of education …

“Last year, UW was rated the nation’s top university for the number of commercialization agreements and individual technologies under license. It moved to third in the United States in spin-outs, with 17 startups launched in 2013, and won an international award for the best emerging university business incubator …

“With 13,000 students graduating annually from the UW and an annual research budget of $1.15 billion, even a modest shift in the institution’s direction could have a flywheel effect, driving innovation and prosperity on campus and through the surrounding University District and the broader regional economy …

“It’s less about ‘tech transfer’ than about ‘people transfer,’ says [UW CSE’s Ed] Lazowska. ‘The single most important thing that we can do is produce more people,’ he asserts …

“‘Top to bottom, from early learning to graduate education, we have an education system in this state that is geared for the economy of the 1970s,’ says Lazowska. ‘We are a leader in innovation industries, but, as a state, we don’t have a set of policies that supports that’ …

“Says [Techstar’s co-founder and Startup Hall anchor tenant Chris] DeVore, ‘The U District is going to be the most exciting neighborhood in Seattle within the next 10 years.'”

Read more here.

October 24, 2014