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.

Michelle Eckert is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Mack Institute, where she works to engage students, researchers, and corporate partners in opportunities for collaboration. Michelle received her B.A. in Art from Valparaiso University in 2007. Her background includes two AmeriCorps terms of service working to teach mathematics, computer literacy, and job readiness skills to out-of-school youth in Philadelphia, focusing particularly on promoting access to post-secondary education.