Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain
the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in
Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles
Universities are under pressure to deliver more value for research outlay. Companies are facing competition in the search for the next business-sustaining product. And governments want their economies to grow. Each of these sectors has its own objectives, cultures and strengths, but they are locked together in a synergistic embrace that is fuelling a push to extract commercial value from academic research.
University research powers innovation and economic development. Countries with intensive research and development (R&D) programmes differ in their approach to turning lab studies into commercial enterprises. By Alla Katsnelson, infographic by Mohamed Ashour.
After starting one of Germany's first biotech companies, biochemist Horst Domdey co-founded BioM, a non-profit organization that has managed and developed Munich's biotechnology cluster since 1997. He talks to Nature about nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in “a country of competitions”.
Austrian social scientist Helga Nowotny was president of the European Research Council between 2010 and 2013. Now a professor emerita of ETH Zurich and author of The Cunning of Uncertainty (Polity, 2015), Nowotny discusses the growing pressure to capitalize on academic research, and how countries can get it right in the absence of a universal recipe.
A new model for translational research and drug repositioning has recently been established based on three-way partnerships between public funders, the pharmaceutical industry and academic investigators. This article discusses the progress with two pioneering initiatives — one involving the UK Medical Research Council and one involving the US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences — and the unique requirements and challenges for this model.