Helping to bring Yale researchers' discoveries and inventions from the laboratory to the public is one of the missions of Yale's Office of Cooperative Research (OCR).
OCR was founded in 1982 to manage Yale's intellectual assets and to establish and expand the University's interactions with the private sector. Its staff members work with Yale researchers to identify inventions that may ultimately become commercial products and services useful to the public. They also engage in industrial partnerships to license Yale inventions.
The office expanded in the mid-1990s to assist in the creation of new companies, particularly those spawned from Yale discoveries in biomedical science. OCR's efforts have helped to make New Haven a burgeoning biotech center by attracting new ventures eager to utilize the University's assets and employ residents in the exciting and rapidly expanding biotech business.
OCR has contributed to the development and creation of more than 40 biotech companies in the Greater New Haven area, with new ventures in the works. These new companies are converting discoveries in engineering and medicine that will improve the nation's quality of life and cure human diseases.
With over 1,000 newly created jobs and more than $1 billion in private equity investments, the partnership between OCR, the city of New Haven and biotech firms has become "the foundation to lead an economic revolution in Connecticut," according to a recent article in the Hartford Courant.
Start-up companies such as Curagen, Vion, Neurogen and Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, which are based on discoveries made by Yale scientists, account for over $1 billion worth of business in the Greater New Haven area.
Other high-tech companies are exploring the possibilities of research in engineering and computer science, including Mirror Worlds Technologies, which is transforming the interaction between people, digital devices and data, and LightSpin Technologies, which is developing new materials used in the high-speed optoelectronics and electronics industries.
Many of these new companies are based in existing facilities within the city that have been rehabilitated to meet their needs. These include a 550,000-square-foot facility that has been transformed into the $27 million George Street Technology Center, the new home of Achillion Pharmaceuticals and Molecular Staging, Inc.
Across the city, Science Park (the former site of Winchester Repeating Arms Co.) is now home to biotech and high-tech firms.