The main advantage is clear: universities get more money from corporate sponsors. There are, however, some disadvantages.

Biased research

When a company funds a particular research, it probably expects results which can be economically profitable for the company, either now or in the future. The company may explicitly say that the researches do not get their money if the results are not satisfactory, or impose pressure on the scientists.

Even if that is not the case, the researchers know that they are funded by a corporate sponsor. They probably can figure out for themselves that if they don't provide some beneficial results to the sponsoring company, they will probably not get the money next time they need it for a research project.

Therefore, the researchers are under pressure to deliver results, which automatically influences the results, whether it is consciously or not.

Innovation instead of research

Research is something different than innovation. Innovation is the development of something of which one knows that it can exist. Innovation is the making of a prototype of something that is technologically possible. The point of innovation is that there may be one or more obstacles along the way of production, which cannot be foreseen but can be discovered during the process of innovation.

Research is much more fundamental. With research one hopes to discover something new. In research one can not know the results. A scientist may research a particular object or field of which not everything is known, in the hope to discover something about it. As Einstein put it: ``If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?''

Innovation delivers quick and predefined results. Therefore, innovation is much more attractive to companies, which want to make and sell products as much and quickly as possible. Companies will give more money to innovating projects, thereby putting research projects on the background.

Lack of coincident results

In 1895, Mr. Roentgen was playing with vacuum tubes under current, when suddenly a screen on the other side of the room lit up. He couldn't believe his eyes when he held his hand in between: he had discovered X-rays.

In 1928, Alexander Flemming forgot to wash his petri dishes when he went on a vacation. Some mould had grown on the culture plates. When Flemming came back, he discovered that the bacteria did not grew near the mould because of some substance coming from the mould. He named the substance penicillin.

As should be clear from these stories, a researcher does not always discover what he was looking for. In the process of researching one may well stumble upon something not known before.

Assume someone is researching something on field A. He is getting corporate funding for that research, because the company is interested in everything that happens in field A. When the researcher now discovers something, possibly by accident, in field B, he is less likely to investigate that further, because he more or less has the obligation to keep working in field A. He can not continue his research in field B, because the company would stop his funding. Thus a possibly good discovery is neglected.

Lack of guaranteed results

When the researcher does research further on field B, the company will pay for something they are not interested in. Companies should think this through before they pay for a research project. In fact, they are not hiring this person do to what they tell them to, so they can not impose much restrictions on the researcher. Companies may make a big mistake investing in a research project with the expectations to get reasonable results.

Lack of freedom

Companies are not just that friendly that they want to give money to research projects. They expect something in return. Therefore, new findings are not released until patents are filed. When scientists want to get some information, they first have to sign non-disclosure agreements and other contracts, to make sure the company is the only one that can make a profit on this discovery.

This slows down the research process. It is possible that one group can put the findings of another group to a very good use in their research project, only had it been made available at time. Patents, contracts and company rules inhibit the free information flow and does damage to researching.

Decreasing quantity of research

If, somewhere in the future, companies are funding universities, it is likely that the government will cut back their expenses on this field. It would be nice if they kept spending as much on universities, but this is not likely. Companies, instead, cut on their own R&D department. In the end, less money goes to research. In fact, company research in moved to universities, and university research disappears. Instead of helping the universities, it changes universities to a common R&D lab of major companies.