News Article | May 3, 2017
Description: The University of Nottingham is building a pioneering Advanced Manufacturing Building that will help to shape the future of the U.K. manufacturing sector. The state-of-the-art 9,011 sm training and research facility is situated on a former brownfield site located within the University’s Jubilee Campus. The new building will be an expansion of the University’s Faculty of Engineering, creating teaching spaces, laboratories, modern workshops and offices for research activities, including nano-scale production, robotics and large-scale aerospace demonstrator components. Professor Andy Long, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering at the University, said: “The new facility will host several world-leading research groups and accommodate some of the most advanced manufacturing technologies related to automation, precision manufacturing, 3D printing and light weight composite materials. “It will also house our flagship Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for manufacturing technology. This faculty will allow for diverse engineering and science disciplines to collaborate and contribute to pioneering developments for a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive, marine, energy generation, food and drink, chemical products and pharmaceuticals, helping to underpin the economy at both a regional and national level.” The project has been part funded by £5m from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and a £1m contribution from the Wolfson Foundation to provide a state-of-the-art cleanroom for the investigation of 3D printed pharmaceutical devices.
News Article | April 26, 2017
DERBY, 26-Apr-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Rolls-Royce has won a $300m order from Lion Group for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power three new Airbus A330 aircraft, supported by Rolls-Royce’s flagship engine service, TotalCare®. The Lion Group already operates three of the aircraft, all powered by the Trent 700 engine. Edward Sirait, CEO, Lion Group, said: “These aircraft are an exciting addition to our widebody fleet, allowing us to deliver new routes for our customers. We have already seen the economic advantages of the Trent 700 and TotalCare service with our in-service aircraft and we are very pleased to continue with this combination for our new aircraft.” Ewen McDonald, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President, Customers – Civil Aerospace, said: “Lion Group is a valued customer and we are delighted to support its growth plans for the future. We are proud of the success of the Trent 700 which has proven itself to be the engine of choice for A330 customers, with excellent efficiency and lower emissions.” The Trent 700 delivers the best fuel burn, emissions and noise performance, resulting in market leadership on the aircraft. The engine has won more than 70 per cent of new orders over the last four years and accounts for a similar percentage on future A330 deliveries. More than 1,600 Trent 700s are now in service or on firm order. TotalCare is the premium Rolls-Royce engine service, where the business models of the aircraft owner and Rolls-Royce are fully aligned to improve engine reliability, increase time on wing, and maximise the engine service’s contribution to customer business performance. A group of airlines headquartered in Indonesia and comprising the following brands: Lion Air, Wings, Batik Air, Malindo Air, Thai Lion Air and Lion Bizjet. The group has the largest market share in Indonesia. Lion Air took to the skies from Indonesia in 2000 with one aircraft in its fleet and now operates a fleet of 284 aircraft across the group. It is the launch customer of the Boeing 737-900ER (Extended Range) and will also be the first to fly the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and is the launch customer of Boeing 737 MAX 9. The order announced today will result in an increase in the Group’s order book of $200m, in accordance with Group accounting policy. Rolls-Royce’s vision is to be the market-leader in high performance power systems where our engineering expertise, global reach and deep industry knowledge deliver outstanding customer relationships and solutions. We operate across five businesses: Civil Aerospace, Defence Aerospace, Marine, Nuclear and Power Systems. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers. We have three common themes across all our businesses: Driving a manufacturing and supply chain transformation which will embed operational excellence in lean, lower-cost facilities and processes Leveraging our installed base, product knowledge and engineering capabilities to provide customers with outstanding service through which we can capture aftermarket value long into the future. Annual underlying revenue was £13.8 billion in 2016, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £80 billion at the end of 2016. In 2016, Rolls-Royce invested £1.3 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research. Rolls-Royce employs almost 50,000 people in 50 countries. More than 16,500 of these are engineers. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2016 we recruited 274 graduates and 327 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes.
News Article | November 14, 2016
Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd have announced a strategic partnership to design, test and validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships. The new partnership will combine and integrate the two company's unique expertise to make such vessels a commercial reality. Rolls-Royce is pioneering the development of remote controlled and autonomous ships and believes a remote controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade. The company is applying technology, skills and experience from across its businesses to this development. VTT has deep knowledge of ship simulation and extensive expertise in the development and management of safety-critical and complex systems in demanding environments such as nuclear safety. They combine physical tests such as model and tank testing, with digital technologies, such as data analytics and computer visualisation. They will also use field research to incorporate human factors into safe ship design. As a result of working with the Finnish telecommunications sector, VTT has extensive experience of working with 5G mobile phone technology and wi-fi mesh networks. VTT has the first 5G test network in Finland. Working with VTT will allow Rolls-Royce to assess the performance of remote and autonomous designs through the use of both traditional model tank tests and digital simulation, allowing the company to develop functional, safe and reliable prototypes. Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce, Vice President Ship Intelligence, said: "Remotely operated ships are a key development project for Rolls-Royce Marine, and VTT is a reliable and innovative partner for the development of a smart ship concept. This collaboration is a natural continuation of the earlier User Experience for Complex systems (UXUS) project, where we developed totally new bridge and remote control systems for shipping." Erja Turunen, Executive Vice President at VTT, said: "Rolls-Royce is a pioneer in remotely controlled and autonomous shipping. Our collaboration strengthens the way we can integrate and leverage VTT's expertise in simulation and safety validation, including the industrial Internet of Things, to develop new products and in the future, enable us to develop new solutions for new areas of application as well." Rolls-Royce is pioneering the development of remote controlled and autonomous ships, applying technology, skills and experience from across its businesses with the ambition of seeing a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade. Rolls-Royce's experience in secure data analytics across civil aerospace, defence, nuclear power and marine; coupled with its ship intelligence capabilities, design, propulsion and machinery expertise means it is ideally placed to take the lead in defining the future of shipping, in collaboration with industry, academia and Government. Rolls-Royce is leading the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA). Funded by Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation), AAWA brings together universities, ship designers, equipment manufacturers, and classification societies to explore the economic, social, legal, regulatory and technological factors which need to be addressed to make autonomous ships a reality. It combines the expertise of some of Finland's top academic researchers from Tampere University of Technology; VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd; Åbo Akademi University; Aalto University; the University of Turku; and leading members of the maritime cluster including Rolls-Royce, NAPA, Deltamarin, DNV GL and Inmarsat. Rolls-Royce is also a member of the Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships (NFAS) which has the backing of the Norwegian Maritime Administration, The Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Federation of Norwegian Industries and MARINTEK. Its objectives are to strengthen the cooperation between users, researchers, authorities and others that are interested in autonomous ships and their use; contribute to the development of common Norwegian strategies for development and use of autonomous ships and co-operate with other international and national bodies interested in autonomous shipping. Rolls-Royce is a founder member of the Finnish ecosystem for autonomous marine transport (DIMECC). Supported by the Finnish Marine Industries Association, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and leading companies including: Rolls-Royce, Cargotec, Ericsson, Meyer Turku, Tieto, and Wärtsilä it aims to create the world's first autonomous marine transport system in the Baltic Sea. More information on VTT's ship model and propulsion device test facilities: http://www. Ship Intelligence press photos are available for download at: https:/ For further information, please contact: Erja Turunen Executive Vice President VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd +358 50 380 9671, email@example.com 1. Rolls-Royce's vision is to be the market-leader in high performance power systems where our engineering expertise, global reach and deep industry knowledge deliver outstanding customer relationships and solutions. We operate across five businesses: Civil Aerospace, Defence Aerospace, Marine, Nuclear and Power Systems. 2. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 120 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers. 3. We have three common themes across all our businesses: 4. Annual underlying revenue was £13.4 billion in 2015, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £76.4 billion at the end of 2015. 5. In 2015, Rolls-Royce invested £1.2 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research. 6. Rolls-Royce employs over 50,000 people in more than 46 countries. Nearly 15,700 of these are engineers. 7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2015 we employed 228 graduates and 277 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries. We use our research and knowledge to provide expert services for our domestic and international customers and partners, and for both private and public sectors. We use 4,000,000 hours of brainpower a year to develop new technological solutions. VTT in social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter @VTTFinland.
News Article | April 13, 2016
Last month, in an extraordinary dispute before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), university lawyers laid out their clients' legal strategies for claiming patents that cover the celebrated gene-editing technology CRISPR–Cas9. Over the next year, the USPTO will receive volumes of evidence centred on who first invented the technology. Battles over scientific priority are as old as science itself. But the CRISPR–Cas9 patent dispute is unusual because it pits two leading research institutions against one another for the control and industrial development of a foundational technology: the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As scientific institutions increase their involvement in the commercialization of research1, it is worth considering the potential consequences for science if more institutions follow the path of UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute. In May 2012, researchers at UC Berkeley, led by Jennifer Doudna and her collaborator, Emmanuelle Charpentier (then located at the University of Vienna in Austria) filed a patent application in the United States for CRISPR–Cas9. Seven months later, Feng Zhang, a researcher at the Broad Institute, filed a competing application that covered similar uses of the technology. After Zhang's lawyers requested that his application be fast-tracked, the USPTO awarded one patent to Zhang in April 2014, followed by a dozen more in the subsequent 12 months. Meanwhile, the application made by Doudna and her colleagues languished. Last April, Doudna's lawyers requested that the USPTO conduct a specialized legal trial, known as a patent interference, to determine the ownership of the US patents that cover the CRISPR–Cas9 system. This January, the USPTO formally agreed to carry out the proceeding. One conspicuous aspect of this case, in my opinion, is the degree to which UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute have weighed in on what is essentially a dispute over scientific priority. The Broad Institute has produced press releases, videos and a slick feature on its website that stress the importance of Zhang's contributions to the development of the CRISPR–Cas9 technology. And earlier this year, the central positioning of Zhang's work in a historical perspective of CRISPR published in Cell2 by the president and director of the Broad Institute, Eric Lander, prompted a storm of angry responses from scientists, including Doudna and Charpentier. Meanwhile, at UC Berkeley, a press release that discussed the potential of CRISPR described Doudna as “the inventor of the CRISPR–Cas9 technology”. The financial stakes are high. The CRISPR–Cas9 patents are widely viewed to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. Both organizations have invested directly in spin-off companies that were co-founded by their researchers — the Broad Institute in Editas Medicine, co-founded by Zhang, and UC Berkeley in Caribou Biosciences, co-founded by Doudna. A report submitted by Editas in January to the US Securities and Exchange Commission lists the Broad Institute and other Harvard-affiliated institutions as owning a major equity stake in the company: about 4.2% of its common shares. Efforts to commercialize the research output from universities played out differently in the past. Since 1980, US universities have been able to patent the inventions of their researchers, thanks to the Bayh–Dole Act — legislation that determines the ownership of intellectual property arising from federally funded research. But for the most part, institutions have kept their distance from disputes over scientific priority. In fact, after factoring in the costs of filing patents and staffing, university technology-transfer offices have generally been money losers for their institutions3. Even in the case of lucrative patents, commercial development has frequently been left to venture capitalists and the researchers themselves. Take the Cohen–Boyer patents, which covered early gene-splicing technology and netted Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), both in California, hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing fees during the 1980s and 1990s. In this instance, Genentech, the company in South San Francisco, California, that was formed to commercialize the underlying technology, sprung from the efforts of Herbert Boyer, one of the founding researchers, and the financier Robert Swanson. The company was neither owned by, nor an exclusive licensee of, Stanford or UCSF. Research institutions in general are starting to play a bigger part in shepherding their researchers' projects through the commercialization process. A 2014 report from the Association of University Technology Managers in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois — an organization that supports managers of intellectual property at academic research institutions, non-profit organizations and government agencies worldwide — documented that universities are increasing equity investments in their researchers' start-up companies. Of the patent licences granted by universities in 2014, 10% were tied to such investments1, compared with 6.7% in 1999 (ref. 4). I am concerned that such involvement in commercialization has the potential to clash with the broader, educational mission of research institutions. Universities worldwide have long strived to foster a culture of scientific collaboration. Even when universities have obtained broad patents, as the Carnegie Institute of Washington in Washington DC did in the early 2000s for a gene-expression control technology known as RNA interference, licences have been cheap and easy for researchers to obtain5. In other cases, scientists have simply ignored patents that cover fundamental technologies6. Academic research institutions now seem less shy about taking each other to court for patent infringement. In 2011, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City sued the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science in Germany over claims to a patent that covered a technology called short interfering RNA, which inhibits gene expression (see go.nature.com/vyujnp). And over the past four years, Stanford University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin have engaged in a heated patent litigation over prenatal genetic diagnostic blood tests, a market that was worth US$530 million in 2013. In the current era of budget tightening, universities of all stripes might be tempted to use licensing fees as another funding mechanism. The University of South Florida in Tampa, for example — a public institution that had its state funding cut by $48 million in 2012 — holds a substantial number of patents that have not yet been licensed and has a famously low ratio of patent-licence revenue to research expenditure7. If its financial situation were to deteriorate further, the university might be compelled to extract licence fees from other research institutions for those patents. It would be wrong to suggest that patents, writ large, are failing educational research institutions. In the cases of gene splicing, RNA interference and human embryonic stem cells, patents have been major earners for institutions and researchers without damaging the scientific enterprise5. But an obvious danger of increasing the focus on commercialization is that educational institutions will view scientific research as a path to profit, above all else. It is not hard to imagine that patent disputes might lead to university administrators pushing certain views on their scientists, denigrating collaboration with researchers from competing institutions and tasking tenure committees with valuing patents over publications. Where scientific advances have the potential to be profitable, universities should support researchers to bring that work to fruition. This might include helping them to secure patents. But it is my view that serious commercialization efforts — such as granting exclusive licences or receiving equity ownership in researchers' start-ups — should be left to industry. The CRISPR–Cas9 dispute could have played out very differently. Zhang and Doudna were both co-founders of Editas. And UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute could have filed patent applications that listed the research teams from both institutions as co-inventors. Any resulting patents could then have been freely or cheaply licensed to other research institutions, or used to fund a joint academic organization dedicated to studying the technology. The patents could also have been widely, but not exclusively, licensed to a variety of industry competitors — promoting a robust, competitive market for commercial CRISPR–Cas9 applications and creating a funding stream for further academic research. Biomedical research in educational institutions has long prided itself on a culture of openness and sharing — one that both Zhang and Doudna have exercised by donating various components of the CRISPR–Cas9 system to the open-science consortium Addgene in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The incentives that patents create for educational institutions should not be allowed to erode scientific collaboration.
News Article | December 13, 2016
Professor Nelson Tansu of Lehigh University's P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election to NAI Fellow status is "the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society." Tansu, Lehigh's Daniel E. '39 and Patricia M. Smith Endowed Chair Professor in Photonics and Nanoelectronics, is widely regarded as one of the world's leading researchers and inventors in the field of semiconductor optoelectronics materials and devices. "In particular," says current NAI Fellow and National Academy of Engineering member Steven DenBaars, Professor of Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of California Santa Barbara, "his inventions in the dilute nitride materials of GaInAsN paved the way for vastly improved lighting emitters and lasers in the infrared and telecommunication wavelengths. His innovations in the physics of low-dimensional semiconductor nanostructures, and in metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) of III-Arsenide and III-V Nitride semiconductor optoelectronics devices, are world-class." "I am truly humbled by this recognition as an NAI Fellow," says Tansu. "These are distinguished individuals who have contributed significant advances and innovation in science and engineering. It's incredibly gratifying even to be considered for such an honor." "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Lehigh as an institution, and to my colleagues and students," he continues. "My entire professional career has been at Lehigh University, where great support and a team-centered environment allow creative and innovative groups of students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty to work together to produce some amazing results. This honor belongs to Lehigh." Innovation at the smallest of scales As founding director of Lehigh's Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics (CPN), Tansu leads a multidisciplinary research team encompassing electrical engineers, material scientists, applied scientists, and physicists to transform the science of photonics and nanoelectronics in ways that help us develop material devices and device architecture to meet society's grand challenges. "Think of CPN as an applied science center where we work to connect basic science to technologies," he says. "Our goal is to build a vertically-integrated platform of faculty expertise and research capabilities to solve issues that require innovation in materials, devices, systems, and computational aspects. This integration enables our faculty and students to work on advancing the frontiers of science and technology, with impact in sustainable and energy technologies, healthcare and biotechnologies, communications, and sensors." Tansu's work has been published widely in more than 114 refereed journal and 230+ conference publications, and he currently holds 16 U.S. patents -- including seven that are licensed and/or used in industry. He has served as a panelist for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and other agencies in the U.S. and abroad, and has given numerous lectures, seminars, and invited talks in universities, research institutions, and conferences around the world. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, DARPA, Department of Defense, and the State of Pennsylvania. At Lehigh, Tansu is constantly on the lookout for collaboration opportunities at the intersection of disciplines. He has worked with chemical engineers, material scientists, mechanical engineers, physicists, chemists, applied physicists, and other electrical engineers. As recent examples, a chance encounter with Brandon Krick, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, led to groundbreaking research into the mechanical durability of gallium nitride, a material his lab has spent quite some time exploring; another recent partnership with new Lehigh associate professor Jonathan Wierer is yielding insight into improving the efficiency of solid-state lighting by using nanostructure lasers. "Lehigh's research environment is purpose-built to foster interdisciplinary team science," says Tansu. "Innovation is often found where disciplines intersect--as are the really fascinating research problems. This is exactly what CPN researchers aspire to build and develop. We build integrated teams that explore larger, more complex problems in a manner that allows us to develop more impactful solutions." Tansu says his proudest accomplishments thus far are not necessarily patentable. "The product of an academic research lab is not just the technology we develop," he says. "Much more impactful are the students who engage in our work and come out the other side ready to identify and explore their own ways to change the world." PhDs minted in Tansu's lab have gone on to technical leadership roles in industry at places like Philips, Apple, Intel, Cree, and Veeco, while other graduates have found success in faculty roles at schools such as Case Western Reserve University, University of Tulsa, Rochester Institute of Technology, Clarkson University, and KAUST (Saudi Arabia). The Boy Who Loved to Read In the Summer of 2015, Tansu shared his life story on Kick Andy, the top-rated TV talk show in his native Indonesia. Later that year, that story became an inspirational children's book through Nelson: The Boy Who Loved to Read, by author Adela Gozali Yose. The book details Nelson's early life as he struggled to fit in with peers while feeding his voracious intellectual curiosity. His hard work and dedication to learning--even life lessons on the badminton court--paid off, and at the age of 17 he traveled to the United States to attend The University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he earned undergraduate and doctoral degrees in applied physics and engineering. Tansu joined the faculty of Lehigh University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at age 25. Eleven years later, in 2014 he was named as Lehigh's Daniel E. '39 and Patricia M. Smith Endowed Chair Professor and Director of the Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics. Gramedia, the largest book publisher and distributor in Indonesia, released an English version of the book in late 2015. The Indonesian version of the book, Nelson Si Kecil yang Suka Baca, ranked as one of the bestsellers in the 'children's educational' category. "This is an inspirational book with great impact for Indonesian children," said Siti Gretiani, General Manager of Gramedia. "The book highlights the importance of reading and education, and stresses the significance of having big dreams and the persistence required to achieve them. These values are delivered through a fun and captivating story complete with colorful and vibrant illustration, and we're working to make it as widely accessible as possible to children in all corners of Indonesia." The pro-education community in Indonesia leapt into action to leverage the book's goal of opening young minds to the power of education. Numerous foundations, corporations, agencies, and even private donors have distributed the book to needy communities and orphanages throughout Indonesia. The book was selected as the highlighted children's book at this year's Indonesian International Book Fair, and as one of the books representing Indonesia in the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair. Tansu says the goal is to highlight the book's central message about the importance of education--and of persistence in pursuing one's goals. "The videos and Instagram photos of children poring over the book intently and with great enthusiasm are truly touching to me," he says. "If the story plants a few seeds among those children, if a few of them think 'if he can do it, so can I,' then I think we'll have achieved something truly valuable." With the election of the NAI's 2016 class, there are now 757 Fellows representing 229 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2016 Fellows are named inventors on 5,437 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 26,000. Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 94 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 376 members of the three branches of the National Academy of Sciences; 28 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 45 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 28 Nobel Laureates, 215 AAAS Fellows; 132 IEEE Fellows; and 116 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions. Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation. The 2016 NAI Fellows were evaluated by a selection committee which included 19 members, comprising NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of University Technology Managers, and other prominent organizations. The 2016 Fellows will be inducted on April 6, 2017, as part of the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston, MA.
News Article | April 27, 2016
A drug company says economic sticks, not just carrots, are needed to fix the reproducibility crisis in science. If academic discoveries turn out to be wrong, one drug company wants its money back. That’s the tough-minded proposal floated today by the chief medical officer of Merck & Co., one of the world’s 10 largest drug companies, as a way to fix the “reproducibility crisis,” or how many, if not most, published scientific reports turn out to be incorrect. Michael Rosenblatt, Merck’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, said bad results from academic labs caused pharmaceutical companies to waste millions and “threatens the entire biomedical research enterprise.” The problem of irreproducible research has been getting attention thanks partly to the efforts of a group of psychologists who have been redoing scores of classic experiments and have found most don’t mean much. Wrong results are also a problem for translational research—the kind drug companies do when they try to turn biological discoveries into actual medicines. Since companies don’t want their cash draining down ratholes, they’re among the few organizations that have taken the trouble to doublecheck results. The results aren’t pretty. Back in 2012, the biotechnology company Amgen dropped a bomb on academic science when it said it found only six of 53 “landmark” cancer papers stood up to efforts to reproduce the results of promising new research. Other studies that drug companies say can’t be replicated include one that found a cancer drug might treat Alzheimer’s and another that showed a particular gene was linked to diabetes in mice. Rosenblatt says the costs of repeating wrong research are adding up. He says on average it takes “approximately two to six scientific personnel one to two years of work in an industry laboratory” to try to reproduce original experiments at an average cost of $500,000 to $2 million. In his editorial, published today in Science Translational Medicine, Merck’s medical chief paints a dire picture: As the public, government, and private funders of research comprehend the extent of the problem, trust in the scientific enterprise erodes, and confidence in the ability of the scientific community to address this problem wanes. In addition, there is considerable potential for reputational damage to scientists, universities, and entire fields (for example, cancer biology, genomics, and psychology). Why is science wrong so often? Merck lists the usual suspects: pressure to publish and win grants, careerism, poor training of students, and journals that don’t review reports rigorously enough. Instead of trying to fix cultural problems in labs or passing new regulations, Merck thinks some punitive economic incentives are in order, specifically, a “full or partial money-back guarantee.” That is, if research that drug companies pay for turns out to be wrong, universities would have to give back the funding they got. Merck thinks this will put the pressure right where it belongs, on the scientists. It’s unlikely that universities will jump at Merck’s offer for more accountability. That’s because they are set up to collect R&D money, not return it. “The issue is certainly serious—but if this became a requirement it would stop [university-industry] research in its tracks,” says David Winwood, a business development executive at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Few if any public schools would have either the (financial) capacity or, I suspect, the legal authority, to enter into such an agreement.” Drug companies aren’t saints, either. Suppressing and massaging negative results from drug trials isn’t uncommon and it’s a lot more likely to harm patients than bungled academic research. Yet at least drug firms can pay an economic price for mistakes: in 2004, Merck had to recall the pain drug Vioxx and pay out billions in damages after it became clear that the pill posed a deadly risk the company knew all about. The other problem with Merck’s proposal to universities is it would open a kind of Pandora’s box of accountability. According to the Association of University Technology Managers, a trade body that Winwood is currently president of, companies paid for $4.6 billion in “sponsored” research at U.S. universities, hospitals, and research centers in 2014. The federal government, on the other hand, spent $37.9 billion. So is most taxpayer-funded research wrong, too? Maybe it’s taxpayers, not Merck, who should get a check in the mail.
Mir S.,University Technology |
Hawryszkiewyc I.,University Technology |
Banker D.,University of Sydney |
Chen J.,University Technology
Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Information Systems 2012, IS 2012 | Year: 2012
This paper seeks to understand the nature of disasters as wicked problems. Although it is not possible to manage "wickedness" by being more systematic, but it would be possible by increasing awareness of the situation and making social planning processes. To achieve this goal, this paper proposes an analytical approach based on complex system perspectives for studying causal collaborative involvements of organizations. Design/Methodology/Approach- An interpretative study was undertaken through content analysis of the situation reports of Hurricane Katrina to examine collaborative activities in response to unpredictable situation. This analysis is conducted within theoretical framework of complexity theory. Findings- Define empirical ways to investigate varied requirements for emerging events. Through this analysis, it is demonstrated how intervention analysis can help managers analyze situations based making a shared understanding of the problem to foster a joint commitment to possible ways of resolving it. Originality/value- This work is based on causal analysis, by applying complexity theory to collaborative systems in complex situations like disaster management, where the findings are based on case study and not mathematical and computational models. © 2012 IADIS.