Celebrating Technology Transfer Professionals Day on December 12thDecember 10, 2021

On Sunday, we celebrate Technology Transfer Professionals Day that honors those individuals that work to help universities and research institutions advance their critical discoveries to a final product or service.

The day was chosen since it was the anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act, that was enacted on December 12, 1980, and was instrumental in encouraging universities to participate in technology transfer activities. It created a uniform patent policy among the many federal agencies that fund research, resulting in small businesses and non-profit organizations, including universities, to retain title to inventions made under federally funded research programs. Prior to this act, fewer than 250 patents were issued to U.S. universities each year and discoveries were seldom commercialized for the public’s benefit.

Since the passage of the act, technology transfer efforts have grown significantly every year, including in 2020, despite a year of unprecedented limitations and cutbacks as COVID-19 surged worldwide. 10,050 licenses and options were signed, a 7% increase over 2019 according to AUTM’s Annual Licensing Activity Survey. In addition, AUTM reported that 8,706 U.S. patents were issued, 17,783 U.S. patent applications were filed, 1,117 start-ups were formed, and 933 new commercial products were developed, all increases year-over-year. Total research expenditures grew to a record $83.1 billion, an increase of 7.6% over 2019 and a nearly 25% increase over the past five years.

As the thousands of license agreements executed mature, they are likely to continue to yield several hundred new products each year, over a thousand start-up companies annually and the many jobs created through those newly formed companies. In the last 30 years, more than 510,000 inventions have been developed by universities and research institutions across the United States, from life-saving treatments to protective gear for front-line healthcare workers battling the novel Coronavirus.

None of this would have been possible without the passage of the Bayh-Dole act and the work done by the technology transfer professionals.

AUTM is a major contributor and valuable partner to the success of the work done by technology transfer professionals by highlighting the public value of government-sponsored academic research, supporting its members through career education, advocating for strong intellectual property rights, and expanding industry-academic engagement. MVS supports and applauds the work done by AUTM through our membership on their board of directors and our involvement on a number of AUTM initiatives.

Congratulations to all Technology Transfer Professionals for your continued work to bring life changing innovations to the marketplace. MVS commends your valuable efforts.

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