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November 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

UW ranks high in income from business spinoffs

The University of Washington made $69 million in license income from business spinoffs in 2010, the eighth-largest amount among universities across the country, according to a report released today by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

The UW executed 196 licenses and options in 2010, also putting it near the top of the list.

Like many other universities in an era of declining state revenue, the UW has placed an emphasis recently on technology transfer – the process of creating new companies by providing lab space and support for scientific inventions, and by helping novice entrepreneurs craft business plans. Technology transfer is viewed as being good for the region’s economy, and also gives the university a way to make some additional money.

Technology transfer got off the ground in the 1980s, with a federal law that allows universities to patent and license discoveries, share the proceeds with faculty inventors, and plow the rest of the money back into research and education.

Northwestern University topped the list with $179 million in license income. The UW made slightly less than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which reaped $69.2 million in license income, but more than Stanford University, which made $65 million.

Earlier this year, the UW picked Michael Young to be the school’s next president, in part because Young, while at the University of Utah, had grown the school’s technology transfer program. Utah had the largest number of startups of any school in the country in 2010, with 18. The UW had seven.

The AUTM survey demonstrates how technology transfer professionals help researchers bring new products and services to market.

Comments | More in Business/Technology, Education | Topics: economy, licenses, technology

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