March 20, 2000


Dear Colleagues:

In January 1999 I reported to you about our progress on improving the University’s relationships with industry under a plan that came out of the University’s 1997 Retreat on Relationships with Industry and Technology Transfer. I am writing now to inform you of our recent progress and to highlight a few developments that took place during the last year. These activities are described in detail in the attached report.

On August 26, I issued Principles Regarding Rights to Future Research Results in University Agreements with External Parties. This policy delineates University principles for decisions about rights and obligations associated with research results arising from UC research relationships with external parties, whether such relationships involve research contracts and grants, procurement, sales and services, or other forms of agreement. These principles provide direction for the growing number of faculty and administrators involved in new forms of extramural research, including relationships with industry. The policy also provides for consistency across the campuses and laboratories while allowing greater flexibility in local negotiation of agreements.

In the past year, four campuses have made significant redistributions of responsibility for administration of intellectual property matters. Reviews of the technology transfer offices at UC Irvine and UC San Diego resulted in both campuses being granted indefinite extensions of licensing authority. The systemwide Office of Technology Transfer, at the request of UCLA, has assumed greater responsibility for managing patenting, licensing, and accounting activities on behalf of that campus. Finally, UC Davis launched its new Technology Transfer Center and was delegated interim licensing authority in November 1999.

We are pleased that this year’s State budget recognizes the importance of the Industry-University Cooperative Research Program and its role in creating University research partnerships with the state’s key industries and providing a skilled workforce. The program is now funded at more than $60 million annually, including $21.6 million from the State, $3 million from UC, and $40 million from industry. As you know, the governor has also proposed the creation of three California Institutes for Science and Innovation to be located at the University of California. Each institute would focus on scientific and engineering research in a sector key to the future of California’s economy, bringing together faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and business partners to work in cross-disciplinary teams to develop the next generation of knowledge in the field and to give students the opportunity to learn more about industry.

I will appreciate your sharing the attached report with faculty and staff at your campuses and laboratories. I also want to recognize the important report of the UC San Diego Joint Academic Senate-Administration Committee on University Interaction with Industry appointed by Chancellor Dynes and the Chair of the UCSD Academic Senate. This July 1999 report continues at the campus level the work that was begun at the 1997 retreat and will help the San Diego campus to establish a strong foundation for its relations with industry.

Although much has been accomplished, much remains to be considered as we continue to consult broadly within the UC community about our relationships with industry. As a reminder, the 1997 Retreat Proceedings and progress reports are available on the Web at


Richard C. Atkinson

Attachment: Program Report - February 2000 Priority Action Items Arising from the 1997 Retreat

cc: Members, President’s Cabinet
Members, Technology Transfer Advisory Committee
Executive Director Bennett
Principal Officers of The Regents
Special Assistant Gardner

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