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Institute for Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3)

CITRIS Research Management and Dissemination of Results

In addition to its far-reaching research agenda and potential for significant social and commercial impact, another innovative aspect of the CITRIS institute is its management plan and the university and industry's approach to the handling of intellectual property rights. None of the companies supporting CITRIS, however, is looking for exclusive rights to the research results. In fact, the situation is exactly the opposite.

"Given the nature of the CITRIS research agenda and its potential for very broad and positive impact on society, we were very pleased to see that there will be a strong emphasis in the program to make the research results available as widely and openly as possible," said Douglas Leland, director of university relations at Microsoft Corp. "Under the CITRIS proposal, the University of California has proposed to work with industry under a new, experimental intellectual property licensing model developed to make all research results available openly to any collaborating institution - from industry or academia. This approach is most likely to maximize the impact of the research and its long-term benefit to society."

An innovative management structure also is built into the program. Rather than a more conventional research laboratory structure and top-down management style, the CITRIS team is proposing a more open and flexible management approach. The companies contributing to CITRIS research will work with the institute director, professor Randy Katz of UC Berkeley, to fund faculty and student research directly. "Highly centralized and overly managed research just doesn't work in today's fast-moving environment," said CITRIS director Katz. "With technology evolving so rapidly, only a loose confederation of focused research projects, jointly pursued with industry and integrated by a shared vision of the future, is likely to stay relevant and achieve high impact. Organizing CITRIS research in this way will allow us to rapidly adapt our research agenda to new discoveries emerging from the center and new breakthroughs from our technology partners."

"As the CITRIS proposal evolved, we worked with the faculty to develop a more effective approach to research collaboration and technology transfer," said David Tennenhouse, former director of the Information Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and now vice president of research at Intel Corp. "Successful technology transfer is dependent on the quality of the interactions among researchers and, under this proposal, each company will collaborate directly with the faculty and research students tackling problems of interest to them. Instead of working through a management hierarchy, our researchers will be able to directly connect with Berkeley's. This has to be win-win for all involved."

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