U-M Researchers Report Record Number of Inventions


University of Michigan researchers reported 421 new inventions in fiscal year 2013, a record for the school — and a 13 percent increase from the previous year. The inventions included real-time radar measurements of ocean wave fields and the automated calculation of changes in retinal disease.

The U-M Tech Transfer Center, which helps attract investment and venture partners, recorded 108 licenses and options with existing and new businesses (down from 123 in 2012), though it issued 128 U.S. patents (up from 101). It also helped launch nine startups through the Tech Transfer’s Venture Center.

For 2013, licensing revenue increased to $14.4 million from $13.8 million — the funds are reinvested in research and innovation.

“It was another robust year of tech transfer activity,” Ken Nisbet, associate vice president for research–technology transfer, said in a statement. “This is a reflection of the high quality of our research discoveries, the effectiveness of our tech transfer team, and our productive relationships with our industry, venture, and community partners.”

The university will recognize the accomplishments of faculty and researchers engaged in the technology transfer process at the 13th annual Celebrate Invention reception on Oct. 23 at the Michigan League on U-M’s campus in Ann Arbor. Among the highlighted technologies will be a biotechnology startup called PhasiQ.

Launched in 2012, PhasiQ develops, manufactures, and markets multiplexed protein biomarker tests to life scientists in academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies. The company “accelerates validation of protein readouts from your body” to enable pinpointing a person’s illness as well as the overall effectiveness of a drug administered to a patient, says Shuichi Takayama, a PhasiQ founder.