Start-Ups, Licensing Income Up in 2016

November 29, 2017

The work of research institutions led to the formation of 1,024 start-up companies in 2016 as invention disclosures and patent applications also rose, according to an annual survey from the Association of University Technology Managers.

The 1,024 new start-ups formed represents growth of about 1 percent from 2015. The total is a new record in the AUTM survey, which this year received responses from 195 universities, hospitals and other research institutions in the United States. Research institutions received equity in 495 of the start-ups, up 5.1 percent over 2015. But 331 start-ups ceased operation, an increase in closures of 37.4 percent year over year.

The number of invention disclosures, considered an important marker of innovation at institutions, rose by 2 percent from 2015 to 2016, totaling 25,825. New patent applications rose by 3.4 percent to 16,487. The number of patents issued in the United States rose by 5.1 percent to 7,021.

Total licensing income spiked sharply in 2016, increasing by more than 17 percent to over $2.9 billion. The increase was largely because of royalty-based income from two institutions that had been on hiatus from the survey. The licensing income total is still behind the $3.3 billion recorded in 2008, an amount driven by one-time events including major royalty monetization and a litigation settlement.

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