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Churning Out Companies

February 16, 2010

Colleges and universities created 542 companies, issued 2,821 patents, and generated $2.379 billion in licensing income in the 2008 fiscal year, according to an annual survey by the Association of University Technology Managers.

Although the association discourages direct comparisons in its survey, "U.S. Licensing Activity Survey: FY 2008," because the roster of participating colleges changes a bit from year to year, the technology managers' group points out that most of the indicators show "a steady increase in the amount of technology transfer activity,” Arundeep S. Pradhan, AUTM's president and associate vice president for technology transfer and business development at Oregon Health & Science University, said in a news release about the findings.

Pradhan and AUTM herald the continuing generation of technological and other innovation out of universities as evidence of the success of the Bayh-Dole Act, which allows universities and other entities to license discoveries developed with federal research money. "...[T]he Bayh-Dole act is working as intended."

While some of the numbers in the association's survey (and in the table below) are likely to make entrepreneurial college administrators (and perhaps some researchers) drool, with visions of riches in their heads, the data also make one reality very clear: Financial success in academic technology transfer is hard to come by, and as is true of many things in higher education, the gap between the haves and the have-nots is wide.

Four universities brought in over $100 million in licensing income in 2008, twice as many as the year before, and 12 earned more than $50 million. But the money brought in by those 12 institutions -- $1.794 billion -- was 75 percent of the total earned by the 154 colleges and universities that responded to the survey.

Highlights of "U.S. Licensing Activity Survey: FY 2008"

  2008 Research Expenditures Licenses and Options Executed, 2008 2008 Startups Patents Issued, 2008 Patent Applications, 2008 2008 License Income
Northwestern U. $368,169,430 28 4 32 158 $824,426,230
U. of California System $4,403,662,006 206 55 224 899 $146,314,433
Columbia U. $640,000,000 36 10 59 264 $134,273,996
New York U. $310,699,000 40 6 30 42 $104,254,314
Wake Forest U. $148,686,377 11 2 10 NA $90,005,640
Massachusetts Inst of Tech $1,319,000,000 98 20 140 282 $88,924,500
U. of Minnesota $583,524,000 63 1 37 58 $84,669,281
U. of Washington/
Washington Research Fdn.
$1,026,788,452 212 9 56 149 $80,330,765
U. of Rochester $361,602,172 18 6 25 74 $72,264,249
Stanford U. $694,217,484 107 9 132 396 $62,514,524
Wisconsin Alumni Research Fdn./U. of Wisconsin at Madison $942,000,000 75 6 98 144 $54,130,000
U. of Florida $483,798,009 75 14 52 180 $52,252,469
U. of Massachusetts $435,247,000 35 2 25 66 $35,982,532
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine/New York U. $296,379,952 14 0 13 18 $31,390,804
U. of Utah $273,005,853 78 20 33 119 $26,211,372
U. of Michigan $875,753,507 91 13 75 132 $25,008,033
U. of Georgia $350,299,000 130 2 33 60 $24,128,536
U. of Iowa Research Fdn. $293,564,000 22 0 24 36 $23,560,163
Wayne State U. $249,210,000 8 1 7 35 $23,554,221
Harvard U. $660,081,500 56 12 55 167 $20,980,563
California Inst. of Tech NA 57 14 NA 426 $19,220,613
Emory U. $390,965,216 24 3 3 70 $19,096,296
Research Fdn of State U. of New York $784,324,279 56 10 44 126 $19,059,356
Washington U. in St. Louis $548,351,000 52 4 14 112 $15,715,818
Duke U. $678,184,248 96 7 32 102 $15,591,503
Case Western Reserve U. $416,077,000 34 1 NA NA $13,294,612
Texas A&M U. System $582,365,000 41 1 28 75 $11,787,219
U. of Texas at Austin $527,141,322 56 10 25 74 $11,553,727
Johns Hopkins U. $1,183,768,000 92 12 45 387 $11,362,574
Baylor College of Medicine $304,225,000 44 1 11 30 $8,863,000
U. of Chicago/UCTech $317,515,531 22 0 29 58 $8,623,473
Iowa State U. $251,674,000 57 2 27 76 $8,580,317
Vanderbilt U. $444,332,462 49 4 16 69 $8,322,536
U. of Pennsylvania $667,354,660 54 2 44 478 $8,200,086
Rutgers U. $323,404,000 97 2 36 83 $7,978,746
U. of Illinois, Chicago, Urbana $830,779,000 66 11 55 167 $7,547,408
The UAB Research Fdn. $404,615,000 17 1 10 31 $7,404,587
U. of Southern California $484,600,000 31 5 41 135 $7,270,538
U. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center $377,169,609 41 2 15 45 $7,175,844
Cornell Research Fdn., Inc. $668,227,455 46 5 54 137 $6,928,171
U. of Oregon $101,342,337 37 0 4 3 $6,848,652
U. of Missouri, all campuses $354,736,593 65 6 20 58 $6,713,233
U. of Pittsburgh $641,626,000 58 3 36 100 $6,666,734
Georgetown U. $144,957,000 20 0 12 26 $6,518,923
Carnegie
Mellon U.
$229,280,000 25 10 21 40 $6,364,422
U. of Colorado $661,000,000 59 11 28 81 $6,040,300
Ohio U. $25,977,573 3 3 5 41 $5,872,011
Tulane U. $146,875,083 2 1 5 19 $5,492,028
Indiana U. $404,621,549 31 2 8 50 $4,960,554
Dartmouth College $174,109,072 8 1 13 25 $4,939,523
Michigan State U. $356,767,000 25 3 48 125 $4,768,590
Oregon Health & Science U. $279,849,368 48 4 13 34 $4,683,605
Brigham Young U. $26,364,124 29 9 3 52 $4,481,644
U. of Virginia Patent Fdn. $257,651,000 65 2 12 252 $4,479,545
Tufts U. $151,007,696 13 2 8 22 $4,017,373
U. of Tennessee $246,397,068 17 2 15 64 $3,877,000
Purdue Research Fdn. $495,099,000 82 11 24 175 $3,411,728
U. of Texas Health Science Center at Houston $197,251,748 25 2 3 14 $3,375,907
Louisiana State U. System $391,767,000 12 2 25 62 $2,865,003
Clemson U. $139,283,678 25 3 15 65 $2,861,439
U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill $619,600,024 58 5 17 55 $2,779,464
U. of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio $201,323,000 4 0 6 13 $2,491,100
U. of Nebraska $342,648,172 28 3 13 78 $2,452,336
Oregon State U. $188,056,000 42 1 11 42 $2,346,225
Georgia Inst. of Tech $536,412,548 49 9 46 193 $2,247,922
Ohio State U. $702,563,477 23 5 15 66 $2,094,803
Albert Einstein College of Medicine/
Yeshiva U.
$145,523,590 4 1 8 12 $2,034,755
U. of South Alabama $28,079,274 0 0 2 6 $2,022,116
Virginia Tech Properties, Inc. $199,635,893 20 3 23 85 $1,975,867
Virginia Commonwealth U. $148,655,000 10 3 6 81 $1,884,093
Thomas Jefferson U $94,031,794 6 0 5 13 $1,840,458
U. of South Florida $298,500,000 28 5 31 129 $1,831,000
U. of Maryland at College Park $346,369,269 12 3 23 93 $1,554,532
Kansas State U. Research Fdn. $95,878,594 10 3 5 21 $1,550,106
Penn State U. $717,244,000 26 1 38 107 $1,504,063
North Dakota State U. $115,513,000 122 0 9 29 $1,487,811
Boston U./Boston Medical Center $343,423,777 23 12 9 66 $1,484,441
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab $819,288,904 16 1 23 57 $1,378,057
Florida State U. $206,541,848 11 3 11 27 $1,257,266
Arizona State U. $237,521,155 50 1 16 87 $1,212,021
Oklahoma State U. $138,759,227 8 2 4 17 $1,207,251
U. of Kentucky Research Fdn. $242,966,000 19 8 15 13 $1,200,000
Eastern Virginia Medical School $30,777,000 5 0 3 9 $1,188,762
U. of Houston $84,490,000 1 1 5 33 $1,127,214
U. of Akron $49,597,813 10 5 4 31 $1,122,879
U. of Texas Medical Branch $153,461,284 19 2 10 29 $1,108,782
U. of Kansas $197,797,000 10 2 4 72 $1,100,168
U. of Alabama in Huntsville $65,320,000 3 10 1 8 $1,024,247
Washington State U. Research Fdn. $140,862,174 15 2 6 74 $1,010,047
Miami U. $29,825,907 0 0 1 2 $1,009,100
East Carolina U. $16,192,000 2 1 4 7 $915,311
Medical U. of South Carolina $161,162,346 3 2 0 16 $862,107
Colorado State U. $302,612,943 32 3 9 71 $804,680
U. of Toledo $59,583,000 12 3 5 34 $696,293
U. of Connecticut $161,336,207 17 3 23 30 $691,561
U. of Arizona $547,197,359 37 6 19 68 $690,190
U. of Arkansas for Medical Sciences $115,537,862 1 0 10 15 $677,262
Auburn U. $146,984,000 14 1 12 67 $675,132
U. of Cincinnati $211,393,081 21 0 8 32 $582,697
U. of New Mexico/Science & Tech Corp. $197,628,506 21 6 11 76 $563,194
U. of Delaware $166,370,000 4 0 12 76 $554,928
Rice U. $83,562,362 35 2 34 96 $530,730
U. of Miami $325,300,000 3 0 4 73 $526,143
Utah State U. $148,257,000 11 0 6 20 $524,316
Michigan Technological U. $60,356,000 10 2 8 23 $523,624
Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. $63,197,369 10 1 20 48 $517,964
Northeastern U. $56,727,549 9 2 3 71 $444,412
Mississippi State U. $210,951,000 1 4 7 15 $428,362
San Diego State U. $106,850,421 10 0 1 9 $381,661
Temple U. $150,376,036 0 0 4 5 $379,901
U. of Hawaii $211,778,184 1 0 11 66 $359,525
Kent State U. $18,444,358 6 0 8 25 $351,680
U. of Rhode Island $60,700,000 2 0 4 38 $344,642
U. of Maryland at Baltimore $377,418,000 26 2 13 64 $343,047
U. of Idaho $81,532,163 2 0 2 15 $335,243
New Jersey Inst. of Tech $89,792,000 79 0 11 43 $333,527
U. of Oklahoma, all Campuses $158,936,770 4 1 18 32 $330,066
U. of Central Florida $108,000,000 8 2 57 0 $327,176
U. of Arkansas at Fayetteville $110,875,000 9 1 4 8 $302,536
Lehigh U. $45,637,000 NA NA 0 13 $299,238
Drexel U. $102,209,005 13 4 8 93 $295,800
Medical College of Georgia Research Inst. $57,085,169 8 0 1 53 $290,204
Montana State U. $96,150,553 46 2 9 21 $272,828
U. of Notre Dame $103,300,000 6 0 4 39 $259,990
U. of New Hampshire $98,820,786 11 0 5 6 $239,059
U. of Texas at Arlington $66,610,535 3 2 8 42 $222,475
U. of South Carolina $185,197,907 17 5 5 99 $210,000
U. of North Carolina at Greensboro $33,125,843 5 2 2 5 $200,744
Florida Atlantic U. $43,249,100 1 0 2 NA $198,880
U. of Vermont $90,642,167 11 5 5 12 $184,693
New Mexico State U. $120,323,370 3 0 1 15 $177,944
U. of Louisville $164,123,000 11 3 6 53 $142,321
U. of Northern Iowa $30,257,222 4 0 1 9 $117,750
Ball State U. $20,388,000 3 1 0 4 $112,443
Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte $29,808,055 2 3 6 42 $109,360
George Mason U. $79,883,243 13 5 5 38 $104,007
Medical College of Wisconsin Research Fdn. $134,200,000 5 1 4 6 $100,264
Stevens Inst. of Tech $29,134,765 7 2 3 12 $100,250
U. of Nevada at Reno $74,638,418 4 0 NA NA $97,553
U. of Mississippi $54,709,000 6 3 6 4 $81,173
U. of Maryland, Baltimore County $66,801,421 1 0 9 22 $72,927
West Virginia U. $154,382,000 11 1 3 25 $72,240
Louisiana Tech U. $19,406,000 9 1 6 18 $55,600
U. of North Texas Health Science Ctr. $31,895,377 7 0 2 5 $48,622
U. of Alabama $32,846,000 5 3 4 21 $38,163
Florida International U. $74,607,044 0 0 0 15 $9,423
Bowling Green State U. $10,712,000 2 0 0 7 $8,000
U. of Maryland Biotechnology Inst. $43,213,024 8 0 7 60 $1,098
U. of South Dakota $22,742,000 0 0 0 2 $0
Duquesne U. $13,200,000 1 0 1 2 $0
Portland State U. $40,146,879 2 0 2 9 $0
U. of North Florida $3,156,557 0 0 1 3 $0
U. of West Florida $14,473,022 1 0 0 0 $0

Source: Association of University Technology Managers

 

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