CHARLOTTE–The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Office of Technology Transfer is one of the country’s best at putting intellectual capital to work according to recent survey results released by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) for fiscal year 2001,

According to the AUTM survey of American universities, when comparing universities on equivalent footing – by normalizing the survey results per $10 million of research expenditures – UNC Charlotte ranked:

  • 1st in start-ups formed
  • 2nd in invention disclosures received
  • 2nd in patent applications
  • 3rd in patents issued
  • 5th in licenses executed
  • 20th in licenses and options yielding income

During 2001, UNC Charlotte started six new businesses in the fields of optoelectronics, advanced semiconductors, information technology, precision machining and nondestructive testing.

These companies were: Waveguide Solutions, Inc., MindValve, Inc., OpSource, Inc., Albany Instruments, Inc., The Golgi Group and Nanoresist Technologies, Inc.

In the two years since the survey, UNC Charlotte has started eight other businesses: Analytica, Inc., InsituTec, Inc., Miller Insight, Ltd., U.S. Metrology, Calyptix Security, Inc., Horizon Technologies, Inc., MixSig Labs, Inc. and Biotrackers, Inc.

Mark Wdowik, executive director of UNC Charlotte’s Office of Technology Transfer, says the AUTM’s results are noteworthy because they “indicate a positive trend for all universities in their impact on regional, state and national economies.”

Based on the recent survey results, “we can really gauge our effectiveness in comparison to our colleagues around the country,” he said. “Obviously, we’re thrilled to have it known that our faculty and students are so successful at generating knowledge that can be applied directly to creating sustainable business solutions.”

One measure of regional innovation and the potential for high-impact technology commercialization, is the number of inventions disclosed, patents filed and license agreements attained.

Technology transfer refers to the commercializing of discoveries and innovations resulting from scientific research at universities. Through this work, universities serve the local community and economy, recruit and retain outstanding faculty and talented students, and increase the institution’s interaction with, and impact on, the private sector.

According to AUTM, academic institutions have seen a significant increase in technology transfer activity since 1980, when there were fewer than 250 patents issued to U.S. universities, and discoveries were seldom commercialized. By contrast, 1999 yielded a bumper crop, with AUTM reporting that 3,914 new license agreements were signed, adding more than $40 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting 270,000 jobs.

AUTM is a nonprofit association that promotes academic and industry professionals involved with technology transfer. Its membership of more than 3,200 technology managers and business executives who manage intellectual property, represent more than 300 universities, research institutions, teaching hospitals, companies and government organizations.

UNC Charlotte’s Office of Technology Transfer

AUTM and Complete Survey Results