UF a hotbed for tech transfer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Some 16 startups based on University of Florida research discoveries were launched by the UF Office of Technology Licensing in fiscal year 2014 alone.
That puts UF into the top 10 in the country when it comes to tech transfer.
According to statistics recently released by the Association of University Technology Managers as part of its annual licensing survey, those 16 startups put UF eighth in the nation among leaders in life-science technology transfer, ranked among public and private institutions as well as systems such as the University of California and the University of Texas.
Breaking into the top 10 in two categories in the survey, UF also ranked seventh for licenses and options executed with 147. That statistic includes agreements completed by UF’s Office of Technology Licensing and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
UF also ranked among the most productive biomedical research universities in an analysis of the same data by the journal Nature.In the life sciences alone, UF ranked 10th in licenses and options executed with 31, just ahead of Caltech and behind New York University, which topped the list by licensing revenue received.
These inventions are the result of a UF’s strong research base, which reached a record $707 million in fiscal year 2015.
“Our relationships with industry and other financial supporters are enabling our researchers to move new discoveries from the lab to the marketplace, where they are able to make a difference for society,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “While we are happy about our numbers, we are more excited about the impact those numbers have on the world around us.”
Key to UF’s licensing efforts are startup companies like Genaidyx, which bridge the gap between lab and market for technologies that aren’t ready for commercialization by larger, established corporations.
In addition to the 16 startups launched in 2013-14, the university helped launch 15 more startups in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015.
”The birth of so many startups is indicative of the incredible environment the university and Gainesville provide for the innovation ecosystem,” said David Day, assistant vice president and director of the UF Office of Technology Licensing. “It takes facilities, capital and management plus talented people and organizations working together to successfully launch a startup. These companies are vehicles for bringing UF research into the marketplace.”
The Office of Technology Licensing was established in 1985 to work with inventors to facilitate the transfer of technologies created at UF to industry partners who turn the discoveries into products that are changing the world. Technology licensing staff work with UF faculty members who disclose an average of 300 new discoveries annually. In the past 14 years, UF OTL has launched more than 175 biomedical and technology startups. They include: