Saturday 10 August 2019

New Study Finds Tremendous Economic Impact of US Department of Defense Licensing Program

TechLink--University of Montana, Bozeman; and Business Research Division, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado have released an impressive report, National Economic Impacts of DoD Licensing Agreements with U.S. Industry (Report), concerning U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) licensing.  TechLink serves as a tech transfer partnership arm of the DoD.  The Report is particularly impressive because of the response rate of surveyed DoD licensees—apparently 95% out of 915 companies with over a 1,000 agreements, and covers the years 2000 to 2017.  Some of the important findings from the Report, include: 

•             $27 billion in total sales of new products and services resulting from the DoD license agreements

•             $4.5 billion in sales of new products to the U.S. military

•             $58 billion in total economic impact nationwide

•             $6 billion in new tax revenues (federal, state, and local)

•             214,791 jobs (11,933 per year) with average compensation of $74,762

Interestingly, about 43% of the over 1,000 agreements resulted in sales in new products and services.  Fifty-three percent had no sales.  The difference in statistics is because some where designated “unknown” and 1% generated sales only outside the United States.  One license agreement resulted in $16.1 billion in sales (Wow).  That agreement concerned an antibody: 

The antibody is used in a top-selling drug, Synagis, to prevent serious lower respiratory tract disease in infants and young children. Without this top-selling drug, commercial sales were just under $4.5 billion and total sales were just under $10.9 billion.

The remaining sales were distributed relatively widely amongst agreements: 

Twenty agreements generated more than $100 million in sales; however, 101 agreements had sales of at least $10 million. Notably, 233 license agreements, approximately 20 percent, generated sales of at least $1 million.

Sales to the U.S. Military were about 42% of the total sales when Synagis sales are excluded.  

Another fascinating statistic is that 82% of the licenses generating sales were to entities that would be characterized as small businesses by the Small Business Administration (basically less than 500 employees).  And, 47% of the 82% are companies with nine or fewer employees.  

Additional economic impact also included: 

[Companies] reported approximately $776 million in total outside investment funding (including venture capital and angel funding) directly related to the licensed DoD technologies. In addition, 25 companies were acquired primarily because of their DoD license agreements. Companies reported that they had sublicensed 64 technologies to other companies. Finally, they reported that they had created a total of 144 new companies to commercialize the licensed inventions, including 23 spin-outs of existing companies and 121 start-up companies.

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