ANN ARBOR—The invention culture at the University of Michigan has led to another record-setting year with more agreements with commercialization partners than ever before.
U-M Tech Transfer recorded 123 licenses and options in fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30, compared to 101 in FY11.
Researchers reported 368 new inventions in FY12, another record high, demonstrating the broadened participation of U-M faculty in tech transfer activities. Eleven new startup ventures, eight of which are headquartered in Michigan, were launched in FY12 with the guidance and resources of Tech Transfer's Venture Center.
The Venture Center, a one-stop hub for entrepreneurs and investors looking for startup opportunities based on U-M research, has launched 98 new companies in the last 10 years, an average of one every five weeks. The university also reported that 101 U.S patents were issued in FY12, and $13.4 million in licensing royalties were received, providing funds to reinvest in research and innovation.
"We're proud of these results that reflect on the high caliber of our research and researchers and the work of our business and venture partners," said Ken Nisbet, executive director of U-M Tech Transfer. "These results, and our investments in capabilities, demonstrate our university's commitment to the economic progress for our region and state."
The university will recognize the accomplishments of faculty and researchers engaged in the technology transfer process at the 12th annual Celebrate Invention reception Oct. 18. As in years past, the event will feature eight technology kiosks showcasing new university technologies and startups, complete with the associated researchers and business teams providing hands-on demonstrations.
"Celebrate Invention is an opportunity to join with our business, venture and community partners to highlight the role that U-M research plays as a catalyst for economic growth and transformation," said Stephen Forrest, U-M's vice president for research. "We are fundamentally committed to helping society realize the benefits of our research by encouraging the transfer of new ideas from our laboratories to the marketplace."
Some examples of the kiosk participants at this year's Celebrate Invention include:
- Spider9, an alternative energy U-M startup in Northville, will demonstrate its Energy Operating System that enhances the performance of wind farms, solar fields, grid-scale batteries and inverters.
- U-M professor of internal medicine and nephrologist Rick Weitzel will demonstrate his handheld ultrasound device for monitoring vascular health of dialysis patients.
- ArborLight, a U-M startup based on the discoveries of Max Shtein from materials science and P.C. Ku from electrical engineering, will demonstrate its enhanced LED lighting systems.
- Professor of plastic surgery Paul Cederna will be demonstrating his neural interfaces for prosthetic limbs.
Celebrate Invention runs 3-6 p.m. at the Michigan League Ballroom. Admission is free, but registration is required: http://www.techtransfer.umich.edu/registration
- U-M Tech Transfer: http://www.techtransfer.umich.edu