UF ranks third nationally for licensing its technologies
The University of Florida is ranked third in the nation for licenses and options executed on technologies developed at the university level, a measure of how successful its ideas are in the marketplace, according to the latest statistics recently released by the Association of University Technology Managers as part of its annual licensing survey.
In fiscal year 2015, the most recent statistics released by AUTM, UF was in the top 20 in every single category in the survey when compared with all universities reporting to AUTM. With 261 licenses and options executed, UF came in just behind the Minnesota system (268) and the University of Washington (337). That statistic includes agreements completed by UF's Office of Technology Licensing and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
"Being ranked third in the nation for licenses and options executed is a testament to the excellent work by our researchers as they put more than $724 million in research dollars to work," said David Norton, UF vice president for research. "It is also a testament to the hard work of our tech transfer professionals. Licenses and options are more than just agreements between UF and companies or marks of success for technologies. They're also opportunities to see the positive difference our research can make once it's out in the marketplace. That's what makes the numbers exciting."
In addition, the survey listed UF as 14th in the number of invention disclosures received (337), 16th in patent applications filed (206) and 10th in patents issued (118).
UF ranked 10th in the AUTM survey with 15 startups in 2014-15; the university helped launch another 17 startups in the fiscal year that ended in June 2016.
One of the startups launched in 2014-15 was TAO Connect (http://www.taoconnect.org/), which is committed to making treatment for anxiety and other mental health problems accessible and affordable by offering Therapist Assisted Online (TAO), a telemedicine platform that helps mental health providers, clinics, universities and patients by providing online therapeutic tools.
Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety and panic disorder, affect as many as 40 million Americans over the age of 18, making it the most common mental illness in the nation.
UF OTL in 2015 also launched Myolyn, a startup that creates rehab technology for people with neurological disorders fighting to achieve health and athletic goals. By drawing on advanced functional electrical stimulation technology, Myolyn (http://myolyn.com/) is building equipment that allows people with paralyzed or weak muscles to perform functional movements, reversing muscle atrophy, reducing muscle spasticity, increasing blood flow and increasing range of motion.
Startup companies such as Myolyn help bridge the gap between lab and market for technologies that arenít ready for commercialization by larger, established companies; startups are key to UF's licensing efforts.
"It is often the startup companies who have the vision and passion and the willingness to put in 100-hour weeks that give the technology a real chance to make a difference," said David Day, assistant vice president for technology transfer and director of the Office of Technology Licensing. "They share their vision and develop financial support to get technologies to end users Ė or into the hands of larger companies that will. Itís an essential role in the cycle of innovation."
The Office of Technology Licensing at the University of Florida 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 generated from the more than $700 million in research annually.