Decentralization = Innovation: The Case Against Reinstating Government Management of Federally-Funded Tech

Thursday, June 27, 2024 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Video Webinar

Event Summary

On June 27, 2024, the Bayh-Dole Coalition hosted a webinar to discuss how the Bayh-Dole Act’s decentralization of patent licensing facilitated a technological and economic revolution — and how a recent Biden administration proposal imperils this system.

Prior to the Bayh-Dole Act, the government retained any patents resulting from taxpayer-funded research. And it licensed fewer than 5% of them for further research and development.

The Bayh-Dole Act gave universities, non-profit research institutions, and startups the ability to retain and license their own patents. Thanks to this decentralization of the licensing process, and the incentives created by the law, roughly 30% of federally funded patents are now licensed for additional development.

The law spurred an innovation renaissance nationwide and bolstered economies in the regions surrounding U.S. universities.

But despite the law’s success, federal officials are now proposing to re-centralize this licensing power, revoking autonomy from America’s universities and non-profit labs and the communities they serve. The proposal, if finalized, would empower the federal government to micromanage the process — effectively ensuring that groundbreaking inventions once again fail to see the light of day.

Read the full transcript of the video webinar here.


Joseph P. Allen (Moderator)

Joe is the executive director of the Bayh-Dole Coalition. As a professional staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee to Sen. Birch Bayh (D-IN), he played a key role in the successful passage of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and its subsequent amendments. He later served as the director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at the Department of Commerce, which oversaw the implementation of Bayh-Dole and chaired the Interagency Committee on Technology Transfer.

Robin Rasor

Robin Rasor is Associate VP for Translation & Commercialization at Duke University. Previously, she was Managing Director of Licensing at the University of Michigan, Director of Licensing at The Ohio State University, and a former employee of Battelle Columbus Laboratories, a leading U.S. contract research firm. She received an M.S. in genetics from The Ohio State University and a B.S. in bacteriology and zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University. Robin has earned the CLP (Certified Licensing Professional) credential and is a past President and Chair of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals, Inc. She is a past President of the AUTM Board of Trustees and in 2005, Robin was awarded the President’s Award for service to AUTM.

Jennifer Gottwald

Jennifer Gottwald is Director of Licensing at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), where she has worked for over twenty years. WARF manages the patenting and licensing of the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW), the WiCell Research Institute, and the Morgridge Institute for Research. Dr. Gottwald is responsible for the licensing of a portfolio of life science research tool and biotechnology intellectual properties, including green technologies. She is a Certified Licensing Professional and Patent Agent. She received a B.S. in botany and German literature, and a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology, from the UW. She lectures in the M.S. in Biotechnology program at the UW, serves as a trustee of the WiSys Technology Foundation, is a founder and active in the AUTM Women Inventors group, and volunteers with Equalize Startups.

Brooke Beier

A Purdue University alumna, Brooke Beier joined Purdue Research Foundation in 2013 and has since held many important roles within the organization, most recently Senior Vice President of Purdue Innovates upon its inception in 2023. As leader, Beier oversees the personnel under the umbrella of efforts at Purdue Innovates, including the Incubator and Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC).

At her direction, Purdue Innovates is a comprehensive system, streamlining access to both technology commercialization and startup support resources. Under her leadership, Purdue has been ranked #6 in the world for U.S. patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Beier holds a BS, MS, and PhD in biomedical engineering from the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering of Purdue University