I have not actually seen it, but that is not going to stop me from referencing the following scene from Austin Powers:
Dr. Evil: “Here’s the plan. We get the warhead, and we hold the world ransom for…ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!”
No.2: “Don’t you think we should maybe ask for more than a million dollars? A million dollars isn’t exactly a lot of money these days. Virtucon alone makes over nine billion dollars a year.”
Dr. Evil: “Really?”
Dr. Evil: “Okay then. We hold the world ransom for…ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS!!”
I would have included a video link, but we are all mindful of intellectual property rights, and many of the clips out there do not necessarily respect copyright.
The reason this comes to mind is the press release concerning highlights from the AUTM U.S. Licensing Activity Survey for FY 2012.
One of the numbers that has been emphasized is the $36.8 Billion in net product sales that can be linked to technologies licensed from AUTM respondents. This is not a trivial number, however my assumption is that this follows royalty revenue, in which case most of this would relate to a dozen or so institutions.
The economic activity represented by this number would still account for more than a third of Dr. Evil’s new ransom demand.
Another number is the 15,741 full time employees at start-up companies. As more institutions support entrepreneurial activities, this shows a wider distribution – almost six dozen AUTM respondents.
The full economic impact of this is harder to quantify, since the much depends on the specific industry, and indirect impact on the surrounding area. There have been studies that indicate for every new job directly created in professional services or information technology areas, between a half and two and a half additional jobs are created indirectly. While many start-ups last for only a few years, the economic impact of their existence tends to last much longer. San Diego is a prime example.
The press release is called “American Universities: Unsung Heroes in the Economic Recovery”.
I just hope Dr. Evil continues to remain oblivious, and doesn’t adjust his demand after reading this.