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Faculty Involvement Credited with Tech Transfer Boost in NM, TN

September 05, 2012

New efforts to step up technology transfer at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the University of Tennessee (UT) have resulted in a record number of invention disclosures over the last year. In both cases, much of the achievement is attributed to faulty involvement, including new outreach efforts by the universities and more aggressive and ambitious goals set for the institutions.

In New Mexico, UNM's technology transfer office, the Science and Technology Corp., reported a record number of new technologies disclosed by faculty, including a 50 percent increase in biomedical or life science breakthroughs, reports the Albuquerque Journal. Aggressive efforts to recruit entrepreneurs to develop and market the technology led to 46 marketing licenses acquired by investors in 2012 and seven new startups were formed based on UNM inventions, the article states.

To help increase the number of disclosures by facutly, The Science and Technology Corp. is working closely with the UNM Health Sciences Center and providing more support to encourage faculty to develop their technologies, according to the article. For example, they launched a gap fund awarding small grants to researchers and created the Lobo VentureLab to incubate new companies on campus. Their efforts are credited with helping grow faculty invention disclosures 85 percent since 2004. The Health Sciences Center began holding training sessions to better explain the commercialization process to faculty and to encourage partnerships with entrepreneurs and inventors.

Meanwhile, the University of Tennessee announced that in the fiscal year ending June 30, nine startup companies were established based on technology developed by faculty — a number that is more than double last year's total. The UT Research Foundation (UTRF), a nonprofit organization responsible for commercializing and licensing faculty technology, received 141 new invention disclosures in 2012, which is up from 87 in 2011. Officials say the increase is a result of more aggressive goals set for UTRF and a response to challenges from national and state leaders to increase and encourage innovation. Read the press release: http://www.tennessee.edu/media/releases/081512_startup.html.

Interested in University Economic Development?
SSTI's Annual Conference features a Universities in Economic Development track with four sessions designed to give participants refreshing perspective for maximizing the returns on university engagement in economic development. Learn more about:

  • Empirical Research on What Works in University Economic Development;
  • Proof-of-Concept Programs;
  • University-Industry Engagement for Economic Growth; and,
  • Criteria for Successful Faculty Entrepreneurship.

Visit ssticonference.org for details...

New Mexico, Tennesseetech transfer, higher ed