Friday, 23 December 2016

Association of University Technology Managers Releases FY 2015 Highlights Report

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) has released a Highlights report concerning its FY2015 annual survey.  The results of the survey are promising.  For example, there was a 15% increase from the prior year of licenses and options executed.  An almost 15% increase in new patent applications filed.  Over an 11% increase in the number of start-ups created.  And, a 5% increase in both research expenditures and invention disclosures.  I am not too excited about using patent applications and grants as a metric for technology transfer success, but the licenses, options, number of startups and research expenditures is positive.  Moreover, the supposed increase in using consultancy agreements and licensed know-how divorced from patents by technology transfer offices may point to even more actual technology transfer happening from university to the private sector.  (I am assuming the reported licenses and options are associated with patents.) 

The Highlights further states that 879 new products have been introduced to the market and $28 billion “in net sales from new products” has been realized.  Interestingly, 785 of the 1,012 startups were formed in the research institution's home state.  Importantly, $2.5 billion in licensing income was collected which is 28.4% more than the prior year.  It would be interesting to see that $2.5 billion number broken down by patent and product/service (for a critique of using revenue generated as a metric of technology transfer success, see here).  AUTM notes that 3.8 million jobs have been created as well as 153 new drugs and vaccines on the market “because of the Bayh-Dole Act.”  There was about a 65% response rate to the survey—202 of 308 institutions participated. 

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