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Annual Reports Highlight Tech Commercialization Successes

November 13, 2014

Three research-focused economic development organizations have released reports over the course of the last month detailing their progress in supporting economic growth, innovation, and beyond. The University of Massachusetts, the Georgia Research Alliance, and the Virginia Center for Innovative Technologies each use a different approach to measure their success and to communicate their impact to external stakeholders. The variety of releases demonstrates the range of approaches that organizations use to provide useful data in a format that attracts attention to their achievements.

The Georgia Research Alliance uses an infographic to visually display their cumulative impact. According to the graphic, GRA’s annual economic impact is $825 million. This is comprised of $30 million directly spent by GRA to recruit talent, equip laboratories, seed promising startups companies, and support research, and is further leveraged by $395 million in direct spending by industry, universities, foundations and the federal government, with another $400 million in indirect spending that ripples across the state’s economy. GRA further supplements these quantitative details with anecdotes and examples.

Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) released the annual report for the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), which showed growth in new patents, products, and companies. Utilizing a more traditional annual report format, CIT issued 52 CRCF awards to startups, universities, and research institutes engaged in research and development projects in FY14 and reports that Virginia’s $4.2 million investment in the program has leveraged $7.4 million in matching funds. Further highlights of the fund’s report include the filing of more than 50 patents, the formation of at least four new life science and cyber security companies, more than $30 million in follow-on funding going to CRCF award recipients, and new partnerships with prominent organizations throughout Virginia.

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) system released their annual impact numbers though a press release on their site, highlighted by six new startups, 157 patent applications, and 180 faculty invention disclosures, the university’s best-ever yearly performance in all three categories. Of the patents, 54 were for ideas that could be potentially commercialized. Additionally, more than $31 million in licensing revenue was generated by UMass in Fiscal Year 14. UMass also announced that it has changed the name of the office responsible for commercializing its technologies with an increased focus on entrepreneurship, transitioning from the Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property to the Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures (OTCV). This office also houses the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, which received $2 million in proof-of-concept funding this year from Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Legislature.

Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginiaeconomic impact report