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UO Technology Transfer Income Grows to Nearly $2 Million
Eugene, OR. August 25th, 2004
Licensing income from University of Oregon inventions grew to nearly $2 million in fiscal year 2003-4, ranking the UO among the top tier of the nation's research institutions per research dollar expended.
The university disclosed a record 40 new inventions last year, up from 36 in fiscal year 2002-03. The number of new UO license and option agreements also climbed to an unprecedented 28, compared to 25 the previous year.
"These technology transfer indicators illustrate that, per research dollar, UO research scholars translate basic discoveries into practical applications at a level that is competitive with top research universities nationally," said Richard Linton, vice president for research and graduate studies. "The results are educational, biomedical and scientific accomplishments that improve lives and support Oregon's knowledge-based economy."
Income from inventions licensed to the UO topped $1.92 million in FY 2004, up from $1.78 million in 2002-03. A record-setting $1.75 million, or more than 90 percent of the licensing income, was reinvested in UO research by distributing it to faculty inventors and academic programs. Research resulted in the creation of three new spin-off companies in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2004. Those companies are:
- MitoScience, LLC, is a spin-off of research by Roderick Capaldi, professor of biology, and Michael Marusich, the director of the Monoclonal Antibody Facility that is part of the UO's Neuroscience Institute. In their university research, Capaldi and Marusich study the energy production powerhouses in cells called "mitochondria" and search for mutations of the DNA inside mitochondria that are believed to cause common late on-set human ailments such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, as well as non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Their research led to the creation of scores of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that recognize specific mitochondrial structures. The UO has licensed certain commercialization rights for the mAbs to MitoScience.
- Kaibridge, Inc., is a spin-off based on the DinoMorph software developed by Kent Stevens, professor of computer and information science. Kaibridge markets engaging and authentic three-dimensional digital animals. Commercialized products in development,according to Kaibridge co-founder Dan Mayhew, are "virtual" pet dinosaurs, and other animals made available over the Internet, as well as educational kiosks for museums.
- Eugene Software Solutions, Inc.'s GradWeb is fully customizable web-based education software that was developed at the UO by Graduate School Associate Dean Toby Deemer and software consultant Asif Suria. By providing a medium for electronic interaction by the graduate school, departments, students, faculty members and the registrar's office, GradWeb eliminates the need for dozens of paper forms and hundreds of hours of administrative work.
UO innovations singled out for special recognition during 2003-04 include UO biology professor Eric Selker's discovery of the anti-cancer properties of "Zebularine," a potential new anti-cancer drug that was heralded in a National Institute of General Medical Sciences report to Congress as one of the 10 most significant innovations arising nation-wide from NIGMS-funded research in 2003. Chemistry professor James Hutchison and collaborators in the UO's Materials Science Institute received a U.S. patent for their "green" synthesis of metallic nanoparticles with the potential to enable construction of nanometer-sized structures using frameworks of DNA. The UO is exploring the creation of new start-up companies around both of these innovations.
During the technology boom in the latter half of the 1990s, U.S. research institutions produced a median of four inventions and $100,000 of licensing income per $10 million of research, according to a 2002 study by the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2003-04, the UO produced about five inventions and $200,000 in licensing income per $10 million in research expenditures.
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