The Impact of Funding Sources on the Rate and Direction of Academic Biomedical Innovation

Charu Gupta, Health Care Management, The Wharton School

Abstract: Given the large and growing role of academic entrepreneurs and inventors via patents, start-up development, and university-industry relationships, understanding how funding sources may impact academic scientists’ incentives is a crucial area for innovation research, particularly in the biomedical sciences. In this research, I evaluate how public versus private funding of scientific research influences the rate and direction of academic research trajectories and downstream commercial innovation. I exploit changes to U.S. stem cell funding regulations to address selection concerns combined with difference-in-differences and synthetic control techniques. This research will provide important insights into how stakeholder incentives influence resource allocation and the impacts of those allocations on innovative activity.