The University of Florida's Office of Technology Licensing signed a record 122 licenses and options and launched 17 start-up companies in fiscal year 2015-16. That topped last year's total of 85 licenses by 43 percent. It's a vein of entrepreneurialism ...and more »
Published: Monday, July 11, 2016 at 6:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 11, 2016 at 6:34 p.m.
The University of Floridaâ€™s Office of Technology Licensingsigned a record 122 licenses and options and launched 17 start-up companies in fiscal year 2015-16.That topped last yearâ€™s total of 85 licenses by 43 percent.It's a vein of entrepreneurialism that Southwest Florida's economic developers are hoping local companies can tap INTO through the new UF Innovation Station Sarasota County, something of an extension office for UFâ€™s engineering college.The program, headed by former Sun Hydraulics Corp. CEO Allen Carlson,means establishing a â€œconcierge serviceâ€ for startups, growing and established companies to allow them to access the UF College of Engineeringâ€™s students, faculty, intellectual property and other resources.As to the growth for theOffice of Technology Licensing, officials cited afavorable economic climate, more than $700 million in university research and hard work by an experienced tech transfer staff as reasons for the increase.â€œOur top-ranked tech transfer operation is driving economic development and cycling royalty dollars back into research,â€ David Norton, vice president for research, said in a news release. â€œMore importantly, itâ€™s moving the research out of the lab and into the world.â€Some of the companies that are outgrowths of UF's Office of Technology Licensing:â– Gene-therapy company AGTC, which UFâ€™s technology transfer staff helped found nearly two decades ago. In July, the Nasdaq-listed company based in Alachua became the first UF startup to land a billion-dollar deal when it announced a collaboration with the global biotech company Biogen to further develop gene-based therapies for rare eye diseases, UF said.â– Banyan Biomarkers, which is on the cusp of bringing a blood test for traumatic brain injury to emergency rooms. That would make the diagnosis of concussions as standard as that of a heart attack. Earlier this year, the company entered a joint development agreement with Royal Philips to develop and commercialize the test, UF said.â€œThe success of our startups is a huge validation of UFâ€™s efforts in science and of technology transfer,â€ UF president Kent Fuchs said. â€œResearch discoveries donâ€™t just automatically become therapies that save lives or products that improve our standard of living. It takes research excellence, superb tech transfer professionals and the right commercial partners. Weâ€™re fortunate to have that winning combination at UF.â€The Association of University Technology Managers ranked UF eighth in the nation for startups in the 2013-14 fiscal year and seventh for licenses and options completed with companies commercializing researchersâ€™ discoveries. The organization has not yet compiled data for the past fiscal year.
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