Japanese Benchmark with Utah Proponents 052908
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Japanese Benchmark with Utah Proponents 052908

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Contact: Michael O’Malley, USTAR, 801-652-5578, momalley@utah.gov JAPANESE TECH COMMERCIALIZATION EXPERTS BENCHMARK WITH UTAH PROPONENTS SALT LAKE CITY – May 29, 2008 – A delegation of Japanese experts in technology commercialization recently visited Utah as guests of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and came away impressed with what they found. On May 20th, representatives from the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology met with their counterparts at the University of Utah's Technology Venture Development office, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Brigham Young University’s Technology Transfer Office, and the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR). The best practice sharing was part of a national tour that took the delegates to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, University of Alabama – Huntsville, University of California - Berkeley, and various federal agencies. In talking to Utah experts, the Japanese were impressed with how the University of Utah fosters and supports research initiatives with high economic potential, and by the track record of success the University has established. The visitors also found affirmation in the overall strategy of technology commercialization. “In the US, important legislation to support commercialization efforts passed in the 1980s, while Japan ...

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Contact: Michael O’Malley, USTAR, 801-652-5578,
momalley@utah.gov
JAPANESE TECH COMMERCIALIZATION EXPERTS BENCHMARK WITH
UTAH PROPONENTS
SALT LAKE CITY – May 29, 2008 –
A delegation of Japanese experts in technology
commercialization recently visited Utah as guests of the Department of State’s International
Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and came away impressed with what they found.
On May 20th, representatives from the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of
Advanced Industrial Science and Technology met with their counterparts at the University of
Utah's Technology Venture Development office, the Governor’s Office of Economic
Development, Brigham Young University’s Technology Transfer Office, and the Utah Science,
Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR).
The best practice sharing was part of a national tour that took the delegates to the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, University of Alabama –
Huntsville, University of California - Berkeley, and various federal agencies.
In talking to Utah experts, the Japanese were impressed with how the University of Utah
fosters and supports research initiatives with high economic potential, and by the track record of
success the University has established. The visitors also found affirmation in the overall strategy
of technology commercialization.
“In the US, important legislation to support commercialization efforts passed in the
1980s, while Japan passed similar legislation 18 years later. In that respect, Japan has been
chasing US practices ever since, and there are some in Japan who doubt that commercialization
efforts will work,” said Yusaku Tenjin, Director of the University of Tokyo Licensing
Organization. “What I learned in our visit to the University of Utah confirmed that the approach
is sound. I was relieved to see the success that hard work can bring.”
The representatives spent a few hours meeting with Jack Brittain, vice president of
Technology Venture Development at the University of Utah.
“The University has a legacy of
international collaboration, as shown most recently with our partnership with several companies
and Universities in India,” said Brittain, “Collaborating with institutions around the world allows
the University to exchange ideas and share expertise in commercialization practices.”
The visitors also noted several aspects of state's approach. One such aspect is USTAR's
technology outreach program with its experienced cadre of regional directors.
“I thought that USTAR's program had some unique features. The outreach team has
members with different in-depth business and scientific expertise,” said Dr. Hiroyuki Yasuda,
Research Group Leader, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
“The National Institute in Japan has an outreach program, but for example, the team there doesn't
include experts in marketing or financial capital. I found that interesting and it is something that
we can take back with us.”
USTAR executive director Ted McAleer commented, “The Japanese delegation saw
value in the ‘regional business expert’ strategy we employ with the Tech Outreach structure. It
was gratifying to see their level of interest.”
Helping to coordinate the visit was the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD), an
independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, dedicated to broadening public understanding
of global issues and cultures. The Council is guided by the principle of Citizen Diplomacy – the
idea that the individual citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape U.S. foreign
relations “one handshake at a time.” Since 1967, the Council has welcomed over 5,000 emerging
leaders from around the world for professional and personal exchanges. Visiting Delegates are
participants in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), administered by the
Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
. For more information about
the organization, programs, and upcoming events, please visit their website,
www.utahdiplomacy.org
# # #
About USTAR
In March 2006, the Utah State Legislature passed Senate Bill 75 creating the Utah Science
Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative providing funding for strategic investments at the
University of Utah and Utah State University to recruit world-class researchers and build state-of-
the-art interdisciplinary research and development facilities and to form first-rate science,
innovation, and commercialization teams across the State. This initiative focuses on leveraging
the proven success of Utah’s research universities in creating and commercializing innovative
technologies to generate more technology-based start-up firms, higher paying jobs, and additional
business activity leading to a state-wide expansion of Utah’s tax base. Ultimately, USTAR stands
as an innovative, visionary, and far-reaching initiative to further bolster Utah’s high-technology
economy. Utah recently received recognition from Kauffman Foundation as the “Most Dynamic
Economy.” More information can be found at
www.ustar.utah.gov.