U-M Tech Transfer Reports 444 New Inventions in FY2017


Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor reported 444 new inventions, up from last year’s 428 and the fifth consecutive year with more than 400 inventions from U-M faculty. U-M Tech Transfer also had a record 172 U.S. patents issued in fiscal year 2017, an increase from 135 in fiscal year 2016.

It also signed 173 license and option agreements with companies seeking to commercialize the discoveries of university researchers this fiscal year, equal to the record set last fiscal year.

“The continuing success of our faculty and technology transfer reflects the relevance of our research to real-world applications that can benefit the public,” says S. Jack Hu, vice president for research, whose office oversees U-M Tech Transfer. “And the record number of invention disclosures shows increasing participation from faculty across campus.”

Of the 173 licenses and options, U-M Tech Transfer issued 12 licenses to new startup companies, which are offered guidance and resources from the organization’s Venture Center.

This year’s startups include Brio Device, which makes medical devices to assist with intubation, as well as Neurable, a company that developed a brain wave interpretation system that allows users to move devices including toys, cars, wheelchairs, televisions, and video games, and Ripple Science, a platform for recruiting and managing participants for clinical trials and translational research.

U-M Tech Transfer also brought in licensing revenue totaling $14.6 million, much of which are invested back into university research and innovation.

“There’s a growing appreciation that we’re doing work here that’s not only critical to the university’s mission, but vital to Michigan’s economy and the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” adds Rick Brandon, interim director of U-M Tech Transfer. “And I think that we now have a number of infrastructure pieces working in the same direction to make that happen.”

The university will recognize the accomplishments of faculty and researchers at the 17th annual Celebrate Invention reception at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the Michigan League Ballroom in Ann Arbor.

The event is free, but registration is required, and more information can be found here.