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AUTM releases 2006 annual licensing survey
December 27, 2007

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) has released its summary report for the 2006 AUTM U.S. Licensing Activity Survey. The yearly survey is an ongoing effort of the organization to assist in informing the public about academic technology transfer professionals in order to improve public understanding of their activities. The 2006 Annual Report reflects numerous changes and improvements over years past. For example, in 2006, nearly 700 new products reached the marketplace, more than 4,350 new products have been introduced by AUTM's licensing partners since 1998. These vast numbers are approximately the equivalent of nine new products released into the marketplace every week, an impressive number totaling more than one new product per day.AUTM manages intellectual property that is generated by institutions, their staff, students and other faculty who conduct more than $45 billion in research and development. A few exemplary statistics from the 2006 survey include:

  • AUTM members managed 18,874 new invention disclosures
  • AUTM members had 3,255 U.S. patents issued
  • AUTM members signed 4,963 new license agreements
  • AUTM members had 697 new products placed in the market from active licenses
  • AUTM members launched 553 start-up companies in 2006

Some additional thoughts on the report after the jump.

Such data that is collected and distributed annually by AUTM assists individuals in obtaining data on academic intellectual property licensing within the United States and Canada. Notably, the focus of AUTM's survey is to capture activities that an office of technology transfer engages in rather than the results of its licenses. Therefore the survey materials assist AUTM members and members of the public in understanding the impact of university technology transfer offices as well as assist AUTM members in benchmarking their own office's resources and activities based on the activities of their peer organizations.In 2006, as consistent with six prior years, one new U.S. university license technology transfer program was formed. This trend illustrates a 7% increase per year in university technology programs. Notably this trend is similar for U.S. hospitals and other research institutions. In addition to slight growth in number of institutions, 2006 marked an increase in total research expenditures among AUTM members. 2006 marked an increase from $42.3 billion of research expenditure to a new all-time high of $45.4 billion in research expenditures. Sixty-eight percent of 2006's total research expenditures were obtained from federal sources, whereas 7% was obtained from industrial sources. The 2006 research expenditures represents a 7.3% increase and is in range with the total research expenditures average of about 8.6% per year. U.S. patent applications filed also increased in 2006, as well as the ratio of invention disclosures received to U.S. patent applications filed. In 2006, 62% of all invention disclosures received by a technology transfer offices were eventually submitted as patent applications. Overall there was a 13% increase in new applications compared to Fiscal Year 2005. The overall increase in expenditures, invention disclosures, patent applications, and new university transfer offices corresponds with the overall increase in licensing activity taking place by AUTM members. Overall, AUTM members most frequently license technologies to small companies (48.7% of all licensing activity). Start-up companies and large companies represent 15.4% and 33.2%, respectively. Additionally, U.S. hospitals and research institutions licensed to small and large companies at 38.3% and 42.5%, respectively. AUTM's annual report is a collective effort from all AUTM members to assist in compiling and analyzing the yearly data relating to each technology transfer office's activities. The report notes overall improvement and growth in the Fiscal Year 2006 and provides a positive outlook on the future research and development as well as licensing opportunities for AUTM members.

To download the full report, click here.

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