Thursday, September 01, 2005

Columnist says CCST Royalty Position OK

Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik chastized Prop. 71 backers once again this morning, but said efforts to generate bigger bags of swag from California stem cell research are unrealistic.

Hiltzik was reacting to the recent report by the California Council on Science and Technology that recommended following federal models for royalties for research funded by the California stem cell agency.
He said criticism that the council was biased were not justified.

"The council's study group comprised 17 members, of whom seven represent (arguably) private industry. An additional seven came from academia, including four from the University of California or its constituent campuses; two from federally funded research institutions (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and NASA's Ames Research Center); and one from state government," Hiltzik wrote.

"What these people have in common, says Susan Hackwood, executive director of the nonpartisan and nonprofit science and technology council, is their experience in handling intellectual property.

"They're also knowledgeable about what's required to move basic research into the commercial world: patience and lots more money, most of which will have to come from industry."

Hiltzik noted that the CCST report blamed the unrealistic revenue expectations "partially on an economic impact analysis, paid for by the Prop. 71 promoters, that had all but advised voters to start counting the money now."

One lesson to be learned from Prop. 71, Hiltzik said, is "that initiative campaigns, with their wild promises and unverifiable assertions, have become poor tools for making policy. We voters would be wise to remember that, as more lies and misrepresentations fill our TVs in the run-up to the November election."

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