Biotech at school: Who’s #1?

The study by the Milken Institute looked at several years’ worth of science-productivity statistics from universities around the world. For North American universities, it measured the number of spinoff companies created, and the amount of money schools earn from licensing their technology.

The conclusion: Harvard leads the world in published papers, the coin of the realm for scientific research. But when it comes to converting those ideas into real moneymaking products, it lags well behind its No. 1 neighbor Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both Harvard and MIT missed the top 10 list in total number of ideas patented, where the giant public university systems of Texas and California led the pack.

The issue is a crucial one for the greater Boston area. Although California has bigger biotech companies, and New York has more investment capital, Boston’s economy depends on its reputation as perhaps the most fertile ground in the world for new biotechnology ideas.

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