Pitt ranked sixth in the number of start-ups spawned by technologies developed by Pitt researchers in the fiscal year that ended in June, beating out such tech-heavy schools as the University of Minnesota and Cornell, the Association of University Technology Managers said yesterday.
This is very nice, but this is no time for anyone associated with the university to declare victory for the entrepreneurial spirit. It's merely a good start. Both Pitt and the region need to do better -- and to do better consistently, over a number of years. Consider the following comments by Carnegie Mellon faculty member Rob Lowe:
Carnegie Mellon University didn't do as well as its Oakland neighbor -- it received $225 million in research dollars, issued 21 licenses and crated four start-ups.
But to compare Pitt and CMU would be like comparing apples and oranges, Dr. Lowe said, because CMU only receives only half as much sponsored research funds.
For the city to emerge as a technology hub, both Pitt and CMU must continue to grow the number of licenses and start-ups spawned by its research, he added.
"Having seven or eight start-ups emerge from university research'' every year over several years "is when you can tell we're doing well as a city," Dr. Lowe said.