There's a silver lining here. Marc Malandro, head of Pitt's Office of Technology Management (OTM), understands a big part of the problem, and understanding the problem correctly is step one on the way to solutions:
Finding qualified managers and capital to spin technology into the marketplace continues to be a challenge, he said, particularly with bio- and health-related research.
"Since universities can't start companies they need qualified management -- our challenge is finding qualified people outside to run these companies," Dr. Malandro said. "When you do find them -- the company takes off."
"The company takes off" part isn't always that easy, but he's clearly right that finding good management, especially finding good management locally, is a big barrier to successful commercialization of academic research. Pitt and CMU (and Duquesne and other local universities) have all the rocket scientists they need. They could use a large stable of entrepreneurially-minded Chief Financial Officers.