Tech transfer industry’s iconic survey reports steady growth


WASHINGTON, DC – September 9, 2015 – Data released today from the annual licensing activity survey by the leading organization of technology management professionals provide renewed evidence of steady growth in the patenting and licensing of new technologies, net product sales, and new products and startups in 2014.

At their meeting in Washington, the Board of Directors of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) released the Highlights of its annual Licensing Activity Survey for FY 2014. The report emphasizes: “… despite lagging funding from the government, the tech transfer sector has continued to rack up impressive gains in several key measures.” Highlights is available at

In the report, Fred Reinhart, AUTM president and director of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) at UMass Amherst, notes: “The solid increase in license agreements demonstrates that the private sector values university partnerships and intellectual property. The phenomenal 34% one-year jump in number of new commercial products introduced is proof that university discoveries have real-world applications and companies are getting better at commercializing them. Overall U.S. economic impact is very strong, with a remarkable 23% increase in net product sales and a 12% increase in the number of university startups.”

The survey reveals substantial growth in startups (914), new commercial products (965) and sales revenue generated from net product sales ($28 billion).

Reinhart observes: “These data convincingly illustrate the significant contributions of academic technology transfer to the U.S. economy and quality of life through jobs, competitive strength, deployment of leading-edge technology, and meeting human needs in healthcare and other critical areas.”

Highlights also states: “… remarkable gains in 2014 coincided with a 5% decline in federal research dollars … a continuing downward trend that hasn’t hit bottom … puts at risk the historic benefits that AUTM and the technology transfer industry overall have worked to achieve.”

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