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New Legislation Promotes Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization on College Campuses

Friday, April 15, 2016  
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Governor McAuliffe signed into law legislation that directs the Boards of Visitors of public colleges and universities to adopt intellectual property (IP) policies that are supportive of students.

Governor McAuliffe said, “This legislation encourages a campus culture that supports entrepreneurship and motivates Virginia’s universities to be hubs of creativity and innovation with the potential to drive regional economic growth.”

House Bill 1230 clarifies existing university IP policies to specify the conditions under which institutions of higher education own intellectual property as opposed to student ownership.  Current policies at some institutions of higher education create uncertainty about IP ownership, which discourages students from launching new ventures, starting businesses, or commercializing research based on their own ideas.  This legislation fosters campus cultures that support entrepreneurship and allows Virginia’s colleges and universities to serve as hubs of creativity and innovation that drive regional economic growth. 

This legislation was drafted based on recommendations from the Governor’s Council on Youth Entrepreneurship.  The Council, which is chaired by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones, includes student entrepreneurs and leaders from education, business and startup communities. Working with higher education and other public and private sector resources, the Council is currently conducting a comprehensive assessment of current local, state and federal programs and services available to young entrepreneurs and will provide recommendations to the Governor in November 2016.

“Virginia’s colleges and universities are educating some of the most talented young entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “It is imperative that we create an environment that fosters innovation, enabling them to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations.”

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