Israel Tech transfers Announce Deal With Google

The tech-transfer organizations of the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and the Haifa Technion have closed a deal with Google, under which the universities will engage in research into online auctions, gaming and the like.

See http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110316005678/en/Hebrew-University-Tel-Aviv-University-Technion-Sign for further details.

COMMENT

Despite doing IP work for all the organizations concerned, I view the above development with distaste.

I am in favour of academic research that results in patentable inventions that are filed by tech transfer organizations and then licensed to commercial parties, providing that the inventors can and do publish their research. In this regard, we note that patent applications once published, are a form of publication in all respects.

I also have no problem with universities undertaking applied research of commercial importance. Nor do I have a problem with universities accepting endowments from commercial entities, such as google.

What I am not so keen on is what appears to be intellectual prostitution wherein the organisations that should be creating knowledge for furthering society are becoming R&D centers for commercial organizations. My Ph.D. research at the Hebrew University was funded by and connected to an R&D project with commercial aspirations. Nevertheless, it was undertaken at a university, not at the McDonalds University of Fast Food.

I don’t like to see Israel universities held by their googlies. I do not want my income tax contributions to be used as a sort of Israel govt. R&D loan to Google. However, I acknowledge that I have not read the agreements, only the press release. Maybe I am exaggerating.

3 Responses to Israel Tech transfers Announce Deal With Google

  1. g says:

    I hope that as a tax payer contributing to Israeli universities I will get some of the royalties, or am I just being naive… :)

  2. [...] Israel tech transfers announce deal with Google (The IP Factor) [...]

  3. Erez Gur says:

    I disagree, the amount of truly “neutral no strings attached” funding is low.

    As long as the source of funding is made public and is commercial (and not political) in nature, we should applaud it.

    Instead of criticizing the Universities, I am impressed by Google’s vote of confidence: the only reason they, as a commercial company, chose HUJI, TAU and Technion from all the Universities in the world is that they believe that these are amongst the best.

    Kol hakavod.

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