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Survey: University Startups, Products Keep Pace in 2009

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The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the association of institutional technology transfer professionals, released yesterday its 2009 licensing survey, showing the volume of startups and new products last year about the same as in 2008, but the number of new patents filed in the U.S. dropping.

AUTM’s survey says personnel at universities, research institutes, and hospitals created 596 new companies in 2009, almost identical to the 595 created in 2008. In both years, about 7 in 10 new businesses started their companies in the same state as the institution. The number of startup companies still in business inched up from 3,381 to 3,423 in 2009.

Responding institutions generated 658 new commercial products from their research, up slightly from 648 in 2008. But the number of licenses and options rose 5.7% to 5,328 in 2009, of which 4,374 were licenses.

Patents filed and issued showed a mixed pattern from 2008 to 2009. The number of patents issued to the institutions rose 4.1 percent, from 3,280 in 2008 to 3,417 in 2009. And new patents filed outside the U.S. jumped by 55% in 2009 to 1,322. The number of new U.S. patents, however dropped by more than 30 percent in 2009 to 8,364.

AUTM received 181 total responses (57% return rate) in the U.S. from 153 universities, 27 hospitals and research institutes, and one third-party licensing service company. Respondents reported data for their 2009 fiscal years, which may not correspond with the 2009 calendar year.

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