The Best U.S. Universities for Technology Transfer

Concept to Commercialization

The Milken Institute published the University Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index (Index). Index is based on data collected by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) via the AUTM’s Annual Licensing Activity Survey. Four-year averages (2012-15) for four key indicators of technology transfer success are included in the Index:
-patents issued;
-licenses issued;
-licensing income;
-start-ups formed.

These were normalized based on a four-year average of research dollars received by each university to yield four additional variables, for a total of eight measures.

Most major U.S. research universities support a Technology Transfer Office (TTO) that actively seeks, registers, and patents IP, and manage the commercialization of their discoveries. Professional TTO staff regularly engages with university researchers to assess whether there is potential commercial merit to early-stage research.

The University of Utah is first in the University Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index (an index score of 100) among the 230 U.S. universities took part in the survey, up from 14th in the Milken Institute’s original ranking released in 2006. The institution has quietly evolved into one of the most prestigious research universities in the United States with a strong emphasis on commercializing its research.

Utah attracted $417.2 million in research spending in 2015, placing it among the top tier institutions in the nation. Utah consistently ranked high across all indicators; patents, licenses, licensing income, and start-ups in both absolute size and normalized by research expenditures, although it did not rank first in any single category. Utah was propelled to the number one position due to licensing income and start-ups which received the highest weights in the overall index.

From 2012 to 2015, Utah generated $211.8 million in licensing income or $135.8 thousand per million in research expenditure. Over the same period Utah recorded 69 start-ups, a remarkable accomplishment as the university is based in Salt Lake City, a smaller metropolitan area. Utah has a strong entrepreneurial culture and an incentive system that makes it attractive for research faculty and students alike. Its Technology and Venture Commercialization (TVC) office is among the best in the nation in evaluating and minimizing risk, as well as aiding in the commercialization process.

The full report you can download here.