Academic technology transfer - the licensing of innovations by universities, teaching hospitals, research institutes and patent management firms - adds billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs. It contributes to the spawning of new businesses, creating new industries and opening new markets. Most important, technology transfer from universities to the commercial sector has led to new products and services that improve our quality of life. From new cancer treatments to faster modems, from environmentally friendly metal processing to beautiful flowering plants, technology transfer from academic institutions is advancing the way we live and work.
In FY2016, total university sponsored research expenditures were $66.9 billion. During this period, invention disclosures totaled 25,825, there were 16,487 patent applications, and 7,021 issued U.S. patents. In FY2016 as a direct result of university technology transfer, there were 800 new commercial products created, and 1,024 startup companies formed. Breakthroughs from university-based research have led to entirely new industries in sectors such as information technology, biotechnology, clean energy, and nanotechnology.
When industries license technologies from universities, continuing collaborative partnerships will often help move new discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. Partnerships enable researchers who make initial discoveries to participate in further developments. Generally, the involvement of the original creators in the continued development of the technology will significantly reduce the time to actual commercialization.
Technology from University Research Centers