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University tech transfer sparks regional economic development in Missouri

April/May 2012

NBIA Review Regional economic development and university technology transfer are not just functions of the University of Missouri's Life Science Business Incubator at Monsanto Place in Columbia, Mo. They are the bedrock on which the place was built.

Occupying a purpose-built lab-and-office structure between the university's Research Reactor and its main campus, the incubator opened in 2009. It is owned by the university but run by the Missouri Innovation Center, an organization of local civic and economic leaders and university officials. It currently houses 24 client companies, has a waiting list of prospective clients and operates a regional nonresident client program. The resident clientele is split among companies commercializing technology developed at the university and businesses that have no prior affiliation with the school.

The underpinnings for the university's involvement in local economic development came during the tenure of Elson Floyd, president of the school from 2003 to 2007, says Jake Halliday, president and CEO of Missouri Innovation Center and a business professor at the university.

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Keywords: stakeholder relationship management, technology commercialization, technology incubator, university partnerships

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