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.
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.