Cornell_Science_Decisionmaking_Ent

Cornell_Science_Decisionmaking_Ent - FromScientistto...

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From Scientist to  Entrepreneur: The Founding of a  Company That Supports   Government Decision-  Making  Cornell University April 27, 2009 Rocco Casagrande, Ph.D. Gryphon Scientific
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Purpose and Overview Overview: Describe the businesses that advise the government, focusing on my expertise in the sciences Although this my line of business, much of what I say could describe any service-sector business Describe the path I took from the laboratory to founding a successful, small business Describe the skills and qualities of those who successfully make the transition from the lab to the office
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Working with the Government Every day, the government issues hundreds of solicitations These are like “help wanted” ads that the gov’t makes public These solicitations cover a variety of topics They cover everything the government needs done From providing janitorial services at the National Zoo, to painting murals in federal buildings, to wreck diving in the Caribbean, to taking surveys of rare plants in the Sequoia National Forrest. Of these solicitations, a subset requires technical or scientific expertise Running or working in a laboratory Building or maintaining cutting edge equipment (like running a genomics facility) Providing in-depth analysis of a technical topic Managing technical projects performed by others
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Why the government needs technical help There are hundreds of government-run laboratories, they need staff to perform the work National Labs, FDA, USDA, military, Veterans Administration To perform its functions, the government needs technically savvy people to build, operate and maintain technical equipment From phones in the Pentagon to baggage scanners at airports to viral assay systems for flu surveillance The executive branch (the departments) and the legislature often have to make decisions on technical topics, without being technical experts themselves What is a good vaccination strategy for an outbreak of H5N1 flu? How can we prevent the diversion of fissile material? How should we allocate limited funds on disease research? Should we fund National Missile Defense?
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How to work with the government To perform these duties, the government uses scientists in many ways As government employees Scientists are employed directly by the departments This is getting more rare as the cost of government employees compares unfavorably to contractors National Labs and various institutes As contractors Both for profit and not-for-profit Range in size from very large to very small – Largest makes ~$35 Bn a year (mostly not based on scientific support, per se) – Smallest are one-person consulting outfits Most people who work in government buildings are actually contractors
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So, How Did I Get There? I knew during my Ph.D. that I didn’t want to spend my
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2010 for the course AEM 1220 taught by Professor Lesser,w. during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Cornell_Science_Decisionmaking_Ent - FromScientistto...

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