Academic-Industry Leaders on Panel Examine R&D Innovation Deals

Panel discussion examines best practices in accessing innovation through academic/industry collaborations.

Published January 15, 2010

Executives from IBM and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC, joined Cornell University President David Skorton, SUNY Senior Vice Provost for Research James Weyhenmeyer, and the Academy’s Chief Business Officer, Rene Baston, on a panel in December to discuss best practices in accessing innovation through academic/industry collaborations.

Steven LaFleche, IBM’s Managing Director for New York State and Stef Heylen, Medical Director and Head of R&D for JANSSEN Alzheimer Immunotherapy, a newly formed subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, represented industry in the discussion of models for driving a robust exchange of ideas and technologies between the two sectors.

All panelists agreed that exchange of knowledge and innovation between industry and academia is crucial for finding scientific solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. And Baston pointed out that “there is a strong appetite in academia for interacting with industry.” But Skorton lamented that there is “long way to go to make people feel that the boundaries between academia and industry are lowered.”

Karin Ezbiansky Pavese, Vice President, Innovation and Sustainability, at the Academy, moderated the event, which was hosted by the Academy and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.