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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

Record Number of Agreements in FY 2016


The University of Michigan created a record 173 license and option agreements with companies seeking to commercialize the discoveries of university researchers in the past fiscal year.

“It is gratifying to see this record-setting number for our most important metric in tech transfer performance,” said Ken Nisbet, associate vice president for research-technology transfer. “It reflects the deployment of U-M inventions into the marketplace where they can have positive benefits for the general public.”

Out of the 173 licenses, 12 were issued to startup companies launching from the U-M Innovation Partnerships Venture Center.

This year’s startups include ViewPoint Therapeutics, which has developed a potential eye-drop therapy for cataracts; Intelligent Vision Systems, which has created an ice-detection system for vehicles and planes; and Movellus, a company working to engineer semiconductors for cloud computing.

“Of this year’s class of startups, all but two are headquartered in Michigan,” Nisbet said.

U-M startups are launched with the guidance and resources of the Venture Center, which is the starting point for entrepreneurs and investors looking for startup opportunities based on U-M research.

During FY 2016, researchers reported 428 new inventions, up from last year’s 422, and the fourth straight year of more than 400 inventions from U-M faculty. U-M Innovation Partnerships also had 135 U.S. patents issued, and brought in revenues from licensing totaling $23 million. These licensing revenues are shared with inventors and invested in university research and innovation.

“Our continuing success in technology transfer is a measure not only of the creativity of our faculty, but also of the growing strength of our relationships with industry,” said S. Jack Hu, U-M’s vice president for research, whose office oversees U-M Innovation Partnerships.

Greta Guest, Public Relations Representative, Michigan News