OTC News Archive

UT System a leader in commercialization activity

By Spencer Miller-Payne & Matt Flores, UT System Office of Public Affairs
May 7, 2010

UT System institutions on average sign a commercialization deal every other day, are awarded two U.S. patents nearly every week, and start a new company every two weeks. When it comes to technology—and business activity associated with it—institutions with The University of Texas System in 2008 ranked second nationally in the number of startups created, third in licenses and options executed, and fourth in U.S. patents issued, according to data released earlier this year by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

Institutional totals demonstrate that the UT System is a national leader in terms of technology strength. Besides the three top-five rankings, the UT System was sixth in the number of applications filed for U.S. patents and 13th in the amount of income generated through licensing, AUTM data shows. The 2008 figures are the most recent available.

It is no coincidence that UT institutions have achieved this success, because the commercialization of university discoveries and inventions into the marketplace through innovation, knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship, community engagement, and the formation of startup companies is part of their mission statement.

“The UT System prides itself not only on being on the cutting edge of technology, but for being a leader in advancing our discoveries into the commercial arena, where those technologies can benefit society at large,” UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said. “These efforts illustrate how significant the UT System’s role is in underpinning the economic well-being of the state of Texas.”

The UT System ranks sixth in the nation in patent strength according to The Intellectual Property Today Patent Scorecard, which ranks 122 universities for patent quantity, quality, science and speed.

UT System institutions account for most university commercialization activities in Texas. All institutions of higher education report to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and according to the 2008 THECB Technology Development & Transfer Survey, UT System institutions represented:

  • 76% of university licenses and options executed in Texas
  • 81% of new university start-up companies formed in Texas
  • 88% of university start-up companies still in existence in Texas
  • 100% of university start-up companies still in existence in other states
  • 78% of all university intellectual property revenue in Texas