Companies around the world paid nearly $34 million for commercial rights to University of Rochester research during the 2004 fiscal year, according to the latest revenue report published by the Association for University Technology Managers (AUTM). That figure denotes the University as the 10th highest revenue recipient in the nation. In addition, the report listed the University of Rochester as having the fifth-highest licensing revenue for every dollar of research spending in the nation, behind only New York University, Wake Forest University, Brigham-Young University, and Michigan State University
The revenue comes as businesses gain interest in the engineering and biotechnology efforts of University scientists. Technology revenue has increased steadily since the University began actively promoting technology transfer more than a decade ago. In 1999, the University earned slightly more than $3 million in revenue, but since 2001 the University has consistently been in the top ten in university patent licensing revenue.
"It's especially gratifying to be able to benchmark our licensing success and be ranked again among the top research universities in the nation," says Mark Coburn, director of the Office of Technology Transfer for the University. "Once a university has achieved this level of revenue, companies and venture capitalists begin to recognize that the University is 'licensing- and start-up-company friendly.' We're looking forward to our continued growth with the increase our 2004 revenue has shown."
The AUTM survey showed a trend among universities to reap more profits from their research. In total, the academic institutions brought in more than $1 billion in patent revenue for the year. The survey tallied responses from more than 200 colleges and universities.
The most lucrative Rochester patents include the Hib vaccine, used to prevent meningitis in children around the world, and Prevnar, which prevents several pneumococcal diseases in children. Other top licensed technologies include "Blue Noise Mask," which improves the speed and appearance of digital images, and an adaptive optics system for the eye, a patented technique for unprecedented accuracy in diagnosing aberrations in the eye, widely used in laser refractive eye surgery.