Max Wallace To Speak At Dupont Summit

Max Wallace, CEO of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, will speak at the Dupont Summit on December 7th at the Carnegie Institution of Science in Washington, DC.  He will join a distinguished group of R&D experts to discuss “The Evolving Research Enterprise:  The Role of Foundations and Strategic Funding.”

Private foundation funding of academic research has grown substantially over the past 10 years.  Estimated at $4.3 billion dollars in 2010, such philanthropic funding has surpassed industry-funding levels and now accounts for approximately 8% of academic R&D spending.  Increasingly, philanthropic disease-focused foundations, like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure are experimenting with strategies used in venture capital in a search for faster cures for often very personal reasons, rather than motivated by profit.  The result, known as venture philanthropy, is a model that differs from traditional giving strategies in its preference to invest rather than support, take an active role in designing the research project, maintain ongoing relationships with researchers, and set and enforce benchmarks as a condition for additional funding. 

The Dupont Summit panel will discuss the role of private foundation funding in the larger university research enterprise as well as the potential impact – both in terms of research practices and research outcomes – of this new strategic funding model.   Particular attention will be given to the adoption of alternative intellectual property strategies by different types of funders and the impact of these strategies on the translation of academic discoveries to commercial products or societal benefit.

Max will be joined on the panel by: MaryAnn Feldman, S.K. Heninger Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina; Janet Berkovitz, Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at the University of Illiniois at Urbana-Champaign; Mark Crowell, Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Virginia; and Elana Koustova, PhD, NIH, National Institute of Drug Abuse.

“I’m honored to participate in the Dupont Summit and share our venture philanthropy model,” says Max Wallace.  “Since its founding, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure has taken an aggressive, entrepreneurial approach to speeding new treatments for brain cancer patients.  We’re willing to take risks that traditional nonprofits won't take.  With our dedicated science team, we vet and scrutinize every project to ensure that we are working to create the most promising and impactful project possible.  We feel obligated to do much more than simply distribute grant checks.  We aim to be the catalyst for change in the brain tumor research field.”



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