Thursday, December 13, 2007

AUTM Releases Report on University Tech Transfer

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) has released its latest survey on technology licensing and related activity for U.S. academic and nonprofit institutions and technology investment firms.

According to the report, university tech transfer is booming. Universities received $45 billion plus in R&D expenditures at U.S. academic centers and technology transfer had record staffing levels, with total employees exceeding 1,800. After sampling technology transfer activities of members, the report provided the following statistics, claiming that AUTM members:

• Managed 18,874 new invention disclosures

• Filed 15,908 total U.S. patent applications

• Saw 3,255 U.S. patents issued

• Signed 4,963 new licenses

• Managed 12,672 licenses and options that are yielding active income. Each single license represents a one-on-one relationship between a company and a university, hospital or research institution that earns income on products.

• Had 697 new products introduced to the market in 2006 from active licensees;

• Introduced more than 4,350 new products into the market in the nine years from FY1998 to FY2006. That is 1.32 new products based on academic inventions introduced every single day over the last nine years.

• Launched 553 new startup companies in 2006. That is 2.2 new companies for every working day of the year.

• 5,724 new spinouts since 1980 — more than one company every two days during 9,498 days of innovation.

Despite filing more applications than in preceding years, universities secured fewer patents because of delays at the US Patent and Trademark Office. US patent applications from university tech transfer offices grew nearly 8 per cent to 15,908, but patents issued slipped slightly to 3255. Overall, the number of patents issued was down roughly 17 per cent after peaking in 2003.

Download the AUTM report here (link)

See also, "Patent delays mar bumper year for US tech transfer" (link)

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