Innovation Asset Blog

AUTM previews economic impact of technology transfer

The Association of University Technology Managers is currently conducting its second annual assessment of the economic dividends derived from academic technology transfer. Researchers recently offered an advance look at some of the telling statistics ahead of the full report's scheduled release at the end of the year.

"The technology transfer profession is a multifaceted profession and challenging to quantify," AUTM President Sean Flanigan noted. "However, the results of this survey clearly demonstrate that technology transfer professionals made significant contributions to the U.S. economy throughout the recession."

In fiscal year 2012, the U.S. universities, hospitals and research institutions surveyed by AUTM analysts generated a combined $36.8 billion in net product sales from their licensed technologies. In addition to top-line revenue, it's clear that academic technology transfer is also impacting the labor market. At the end of FY 2012, more than 4,000 startup companies formed by 70 separate institutions were still in operation - employing nearly 16,000 full-time staff members.

The variety and vitality of tech transfer initiatives was particularly apparent in the biomedical sector. According to MedCity News, California's City of Hope Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute amassed $224.4 million in licensing revenue in FY 2012 while founding a single startup initiative. Conversely, Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital spawned seven startup companies in FY 2012 while accumulating $8.9 million in licensing revenue.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.