University of Rochester

University of Rochester a Leader in Technology Commercialization

February 25, 2010

For the eighth consecutive year, the University of Rochester is among the top ten institutions in the country in the amount of royalty revenue it received from licensed technologies. The University ranked ninth in the nation in 2008 in license income according to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

"We received more revenue in 2008 from our licensed intellectual property than at any other point in the University's history," said Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester. "This achievement is a testament to the exceptional quality of our scientific community and the ongoing support of government, the business community, donors, and our research partners in academia and industry."

The annual licensing report released this month by AUTM shows that the University of Rochester received $72.3 million in royalty payments for patented technologies that it has licensed to companies. That year the University also made $361.6 million in research expenditures, was issued 25 U.S. patents, applied for 74 new patents, and formed 6 start-up companies based on University technologies. The data in the AUTM report lags by a year and only contains information for 2008.

"One goal of any great research university is to advance the understanding of complex societal problems and apply that new knowledge in ways that improve people's lives," said Ralph Kuncl, provost of the University of Rochester. "The University of Rochester continues to 'punch above its weight class' when it comes to the societal impact and commercial potential of our scientific innovation."

While the University's royalty revenue is based on 99 active license agreements with companies large and small, the bulk of the 2008 revenue comes from three separate sets of license agreements: two pediatric vaccines created using a method developed at the Medical Center; a cervical cancer vaccine based in part on some 20 plus years of research by a trio of University virologists; and a series of antibody technologies that have applications in drug discovery and design.

The majority of the domestic and foreign patents for the pediatric vaccines have since expired and, consequently, royalty revenue for 2009 has declined but still remains at historic levels. Several licensees have products in development, including some in advanced stages of clinical evaluation, which are anticipated to keep royalty revenue strong for years to come.

"Over the years we have been able to build a strong foundation of revenue based on several very successful technologies," said Marjorie Hunter, director of the Medical Center Office of Technology Transfer. "These funds are critical, particularly in the current economic environment as they represent unrestricted funds that can be re-invested back into our research enterprise."

"University research plays a central role in our nation's innovation economy," said Gail Norris, vice provost for Technology Transfer Policy at the University of Rochester. "New technologies and new companies are important byproducts of university research, and our goal is to ensure that these advances have both a positive social and economic impact, both here in Rochester and beyond."