Volume 5 Issue 4 - August 1, 2008
“A New Model for Academic Entrepreneurship: Successes and Lessons”
A Summary Report of a Lecture by Dr. Harold J. Raveché, President of Stevens Institute of Technology
Article Digest
Ping-Yen Liu
Increased Rho Kinase Activity in a Taiwanese Population with Metabolic Syndrome
Shoou-Jinn Chang
A ZnO nanowire vacuum pressure sensor
Ching-Jer Huang
Ground vibrations produced by rock motions and debris flows
Cheng-Haw Lee
A View Towards the Future of Subsurface Characterization: CAT Scanning Groundwater Basins
Article Digest
Jinn-Kong Sheu
Linear cascaded GaN-based green LEDs for high-speed and high-power performance
Chien-Hung Wei
Sequential forecast of incident duration using artificial neural network models
News Release
Meeting New Members of NCKU: Dr. Simon M. Sze and Dr. Takuo Sugano, Honorary Professors of NCKU
Collaboration Memorandum of Understanding Signed Between Department of Materials Science and Engineering, NCKU and Department of Materials Science, Moscow State University
Editorial Group
“A New Model for Academic Entrepreneurship: Successes and Lessons”
A Summary Report of a Lecture by Dr. Harold J. Raveché, President of Stevens Institute of Technology

On July 16, 2008, Dr. Harold J. Raveché, President of Stevens Institute of Technology, gave a talk on the topic “A New Model for Academic Entrepreneurship: Successes and Lessons” at NCKU. Welcomed by Dr. Da-Hsuan Feng, Senior Executive Vice President, and Dr. Yonghua Tzeng, Vice President, many faculty and students listened eagerly to his informative talk and exchanged experiences on making the university a birthplace for innovation.

Many critical issues were addressed, and the following is a summary report of Dr. Harold J. Raveché’s talk and the Q and A session.

I hope that some of you may have a dream to start your own company. It’s also very important for your country. New companies create jobs. The message here I want to talk about is: We do not believe in there is such thing as the “right model”. Every university has to find its own way. There is no standard model.

What is entrepreneurship:
You can’t say I’m going to do it in the morning, or in the afternoon. It’s a way of life. It will not happen easily. Don’t think that you put your feet on the desk that some grand idea will happen to you. That doesn’t work out. A lot of hard work. The venture capital people, they lead a certain way of life. Every move they make is about success. It’s a mindset. I want to emphasize to the students: it’s a way of life. You must persevere.

Why being innovative:
If you are just a good engineer, or a good scientist, that is not enough. The chances are you will be outsourced. Everyone is talking about China, today, or India, tomorrow, that will be Vietnam, Ireland, Africa, South America. That’s the nature of the global economy. Markets will move where people are good engineers, and good scientists, who work for less. And after a while, their salaries go up, and they will move again. So if you want to ensure your future, you’ll have to bring value to the organization that you join, whether it’s a university or company. And hopefully, some of you will have the dream or courage to start your own company. But, remember, you have to be a good engineer or scientist, that’s a given. Not that you’re saying you don’t know your field, but you must have more to offer than that. And to be on the path of innovation means that you think and you act orderly. It’s like a trained athlete, a great baseball player, or basketball player. That’s the way you have to live. It’s difficult.

So high-tech manufacturing is extremely important for the future of Taiwan, whether it’s in pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, or biomedical engineering. It is the future of your country. And the strongest position you could have, in my view, in talking with China, is through innovation. That would give you strength. Innovation will give you enough strength. So you, the students, you’re the future hope of your country. If you are not innovative, your country will not be innovative. So your country is looking to you to step up to that responsibility.

“The design, invention, development and /or implementation (very important word) of new or improved products, services, processes, systems, organizational structures, or business models for the purpose of creating new value for customers and financial returns for the university, the region and the nation.”

Academic Entrepreneurship:
A new core value: Academic Entrepreneurship. The mindset to take innovation and the courage to take risks. Yes, you publish in the same journal as your peers, but you have the courage and the passion to see if the fruits of your research can be brought to benefit greater aspects of the society. And that’s where the passion comes in.

Surviving rule of the market:
Bird's eye view of the Stevens Institute of Technology
When you go to Silicon Valley, with some of the companies are shown in there, they never, ever, asked me about the technology. The two most prestigious companies in the valley happen to be run by Stevens’ graduates. So, when I go, they assume the technology is valid, otherwise I would be embarrassing myself. I will never be invited back. So, what they asked me first was: “How big is the market?” “What is it gonna to cost to enter that market?” “What’s the competition?” And if I can’t answer those questions, in 10 seconds, next guy! You’re out. Over. You won’t be invited back. That’s how competitive it is. There are so many people waiting on line, waiting with their ideas. So you have to understand the business context of your inventions. You could be a great physicist, but if you don’t understand how you work towards the market, you will not be innovated.

Outcome of Academic Entrepreneurship:
This changes the learning environment, because it brings the knowledge of the marketplace back into the learning environment. In last August, the Business Week (August 30, 2007), a very controversial article said: “Who Needs the Ivies?” The quote “Schools like MIT and Stanford don’t graduate more founders of companies than Stevens Institute of Technology or Arizona State University.” It’s because of this environment. So when our students graduate, they know how to grow the company they join or start their own company.

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