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Tech Transfer Industry Report Shows Steady Growth, Cites Importance of Federal Research Funding

The country’s leading organization of technology management officials reported the results of its annual licensing survey, showing steady growth in the patenting and licensing of new technologies and a 16 percent increase in the number of new technology business enterprises in 2013.

Meeting this week in Washington, the Board of Directors of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) released the highlights of its annual Licensing Activity Survey covering technology transfer activities in Fiscal Year 2013. The Highlights Report is available on AUTM’s web site: www.autm.net

The report noted: “Despite reductions in federal research funding, academic and research institution licensing and startup activity are very strong and continue to play an important role in the economy.”

Such robust licensing and startup activity cannot continue, however, in the context of reduced federal research funding, the report warns. AUTM leaders emphasized that continued gains in licensing and new business startups will “be jeopardized if Congress does not provide strong and sustained funding for basic research, or if legislation is enacted that would make patenting and licensing new discoveries more difficult.”

Jane Muir, president of AUTM and director of the Florida Innovation Hub at the University of Florida, commented, “While we are a numbers-driven society, it is important to note that some of the most important numbers are not actually captured in this survey. It is difficult to quantify the impact of the many people whose cancer is in complete remission as a result of immunotherapy research started in a university lab.”

Muir added, “That said, there is direct correlation between investing in research and the benefits to the American taxpayers. We need strong support for research funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and we need Congress to maintain the strength of the US patent system by avoiding roadblocks to patent holders who need to enforce legitimately their patents against infringement.”

  • Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, & Economic Prosperity
  • Economic Development & Community Engagement
  • Research, Science & Technology

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