AUTM Newsbrief
Aug. 30, 2012

2012 Western Region Meeting, Nov. 15 — 16, Napa, CA
The AUTM Western Region Meeting will take place Nov. 15 – 16, 2012, immediately following the Leadership Forum. Plan to attend both events to maximize your networking opportunities! Register now.More

'Very Strong' Patenting Activity Boosts Income for Universities, AUTM Finds
Science Magazine (blog)
The patents held by U.S. universities, hospitals, and other research institutions produced a total of $1.5 billion in licensing income and $2.5 billion in overall income for the institutions in 2011, according to a survey of 183 U.S. institutions by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). Up 2.6 percent and 5 percent respectively from the previous year, these figures indicate "very strong" activity in licensing products and creating startup companies, "despite continuing economic difficulties," states a summary issued yesterday by AUTM. The survey also noted increases in the number of new patent applications the institutions filed (13,271, up 11 percent over the previous year), the number of companies they formed (671, up 3 percent), and the number of already established companies that remained in business (3,927, up 7 percent). Overall, 591 new products were commercialized in 2011. More

Licensing Income Edges Higher
Inside Higher Ed
Universities in the United States derived more income from research innovations they licensed in 2011 than they did in 2010, as the sputtering economy continued to constrain the market for startups and other investment, an annual survey by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) has found.More

University of Ottawa Comes Fourth in National Research Ranking
The Ottawa Citizen
Research productivity is considered the key to grant money, status and career advancement. But all research is not created equal. And the most common tools used to measure fail to accurately account for the differences between disciplines and between institutions.More

Universities Report $1.8 Billion in Earnings on Inventions in 2011
The Chronicle of Higher Education
An article that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education contained several errors. This is the corrected version, which shows that revenue, licenses, patents and startups were higher than originally reported. If you read the original article, be sure to read this correction.

Universities and their inventors earned more than $1.8-billion from commercializing their academic research in the 2011 fiscal year, collecting royalties from new breeds of wheat, from a new drug for the treatment of HIV, and from longstanding arrangements over enduring products like Gatorade. Northwestern University earned the most of any institution reporting, with more than $191-million in licensing income. The 157 universities that responded to the annual survey of the Association of University Technology Managers, released on Monday, completed 5,398 licenses and filed for 12,090 new patents. They also created 617 startup companies. The overall revenue figures are about the same as in the 2010 fiscal year, when 155 universities responded.More

Energy Department Announces New University-led Projects to Create More Efficient, Lower Cost Concentrating Solar Power Systems
eNews Park Forest
As part of the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, which aims to drive solar energy to be cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020, Secretary Steven Chu announced new investments totaling $10 million over five years for two university-led projects to advance innovative concentrating solar power (CSP) system technologies. CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat that can be used to produce electricity. More

University of Iowa Research Foundation Increases Funding Efforts to Promote Economic Growth
The Gazette
Gail Bishop is doing all she can to avoid "the valley of death." A fate to which Bishop — a professor of microbiology and internal medicine at the University of Iowa — said she has seen too many academics fall prey. Bishop and her business partner and fellow UI scientist Tony Vanden Bush have created a medical technology they feel can be commercialized. (See "Lock and key" sidebar.) However, the pair is faced with the quintessential problem of translating an idea from the lab into a business venture. "In science, they call it the valley of death," Bishop said. "You get to this point where it sounds really, really promising, and over there is the product in the box, and who wants to get you across that gap? A company wants something that is as close to a sure thing as it can possibly be." To entice potential investors, Bishop and Vanden Bush must complete further tests and proof of concept work, and the University of Iowa Research Foundation has identified their work and other academic undertakings as worthwhile. As a result, the foundation created the 2012 ICE Commercialization Gap Fund — a $1 million fund for FY 2012 that will help academics bankroll the critical research to cross "the valley," and potentially lead to the creation of companies or licensing of technologies for the UI.More

Smart Sutures Use Ultra-thin Technology to Detect Infection
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have successfully developed an electronic suture that contains ultrathin silicon sensors integrated on polymer or silk strips and can be laced through the skin and knotted just like conventional medical stitches. These smart sutures are able to precisely measure body temperature at the site if the wound — infection elevates the skin's temperature — as well as to deliver heat to the wound site, which is known to aid in healing. With the help of his colleagues, John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the university, developed the suture using silicon membranes, gold electrodes, and wires that are just a few hundred nanometers thick and patterned in a serpentine shape. MC10, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup Rogers cofounded, is commercializing the technology — which is still only in its trial phase.More

San Antonio Researchers Develop New Laser-based Imaging System
San Antonio Business Journal (subscription)
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have developed a medical-imaging system based on laser technology that they say is ripe for commercialization opportunities. The university's technology transfer office recently filed a patent application for the imaging system, which relies on optical sensors. The office is also fielding inquiries from several companies interested in licensing the new technology. Arjun Sanga, executive director of South Texas Technology Management, a regional technology transfer office that serves the Health Science Center, says the imaging system represents an advance in an existing technology known as optoacoustic imaging.More

China, Airbus Push Biofuel Development
Travel Daily
Airbus has formed a partnership with one of China's main academic institutions to study the advancement of aviation biofuels. A joint project between the European planemaker and Beijing's Tsinghua University is already underway to identify and develop alternative fuels in China. In phase one, the partners will assess suitable materials to be used as the basis for biofuels. Once these have been identified, phase two will narrow down the most promising alternative fuel solutions. The first results are due to be analyzed in the second half of 2012, with the goal of completing full sustainability analysis by the beginning of 2013. Two main fuel sources identified so far include used cooking oil and algae. From 2013 onwards, Airbus and Tsinghua University will look at scaling-up the production process to achieve quantities suitable for commercial use.More

Bristol University Spin-out Develops Stem Cell Treatment to Repair Knee Cartilage
Southwest Business
Patients are due to undergo a pioneering stem cell treatment to repair knee cartilage as a world first is trialed at a Bristol hospital. The "bandage" which uses patients' own stem cells has been developed by a Bristol University spin-out company, Azellon Ltd, and will be implanted in their knee in a procedure at Southmead Hospital. Patients who have been diagnosed with torn meniscal cartilage following an MRI scan will have a small operation to take the bone marrow from their hip. The stem cells taken from the bone marrow will then be sent to the lab to grow them on the membrane, called a bio-scaffold, which forms the basis of the bandage. Two weeks later the bandage would be sent back to Southmead for an arthroscopy operation, using a small camera, to implant the bandage into the site of the injury.More

University of Utah Holds Out Hat for Tech Transfer
The Salt Lake Tribune
At a time when the University of Utah is tapping the philanthropic community to fund scholarships and buildings for research, academics, athletics and cultural amenities, the school this week added another request: funding for technology commercialization. Money donated to a new Gateway Crimson Innovation Fund will help push university inventions, such as medical devices and treatments, drugs, energy technologies and software, into the marketplace. Officials are seeking "venture philanthropists" to kick in $2 million for the fund's first year, according to the U. "I don't think corporations or individuals could find a more direct way to have a positive influence on people's lives and the state of Utah," said Bryan Ritchie, director of the U.'s Technology Commercialization Office, said in a statement. "Donations to this fund help create new companies, jobs and wealth." While the U. claims to be a national leader in generating startups from research, Ritchie concedes there is room for increasing the number of jobs and other economic benefits the companies create.More

Queensland University of Technology Signs Biotechnology Pact with India to Develop Iron-rich Bananas
News Track India
Australia's Queensland University of Technology and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, have entered into a $AUD 2.6-million (approximately Rs 148 million) partnership to help stamp out iron-deficiency anemia, a major cause of maternal death during childbirth. The project will see new strains of iron-rich bananas developed and will be jointly led by QUT's Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities Director, Distinguished Professor James Dale and Dr Rakesh Tuli of the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute. Other partners include the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, National Research Centre for Bananas, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research. "Bananas are a staple food in India, particularly in the south of the country," said Professor Dale. "Once we develop the new banana varieties they should be widely available and provide a rich and easily accessible source of iron."More

The AUTM GTP now has over 22,000 technologies posted and 2,728 organizations participating. Are you connected?


The AUTM Leadership Forum, Nov. 13 — 14, Napa, CA
The AUTM Leadership Forum is a high level forum for seasoned technology transfer professionals from around the world. The goal of the forum is to connect university professionals with industry colleagues to discuss taking a leadership role in accelerating commercialization. Register now.More

2012 Western Region Meeting, Nov. 15 — 16, Napa, CA
The AUTM Western Region Meeting will take place Nov. 15 – 16, 2012, immediately following the Leadership Forum. Plan to attend both events to maximize your networking opportunities! Register now.More