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Bayh-Dole and Technology Transfer Continue to Deliver

August 8, 2013
The Association of University Technology Managers released the 2012 AUTM U.S. Licensing Activity Survey Highlights which provides data on respondents from “161 universities, 32 hospitals and research institutes, and one third-party technology investment firm” (a response rate of 65%).  Here are some of the highlights:

Start-Ups and Products:
• 705 startup companies formed (+5.1% [over last year]), 554 of which had their primary place of business in the licensing institution’s home state (+13.8% [over last year])
• 4,002 startups still operating as of the end of FY2012 (+1.9%)
• 591 new commercial products created (0.0%)

License Income:
• Total income: $2.6 billion (+6.8%)
• Running royalties: $1.9 billion (+30.2%)
• Cashed-in equity: $64 million (-1.0%)
• Other income: $461.6 million (+2.7%)

Where does all of this income to the universities go?  The University of California system allocates (after expenses) 35% of the net invention income to the inventors, 25% to the general fund, 15% to further research, and the remaining 25% to the campuses.

How does the rest of the country benefit?  According to research reviewing 15 years of AUTM Survey data, the economic impact of academic licensing included contributions up to $836 billion in gross industry output, contributions up to $388 billion to the GDP, and supported up to 3 million jobs.

The Economist rightly asserted that “possibly the most inspired piece of legislation to be enacted in America over the past half-century was the Bayh-Dole act of 1980… More than anything, this single policy measure helped reverse America’s precipitous slide into industrial irrelevance.” Economist Technology Quarterly, Dec. 14, 2002.