UO Research Revenue Jumps

Article excerpt

Byline: Greg Bolt The Register-Guard

The University of Oregon booked another year of record returns from inventions and technology spinoffs, boosting revenue by 77 percent last year.

The $3.4 million in income from technology licencing was a substantial jump from the $1.92 million earned in 2004 and marked the 10th year in a row the UO set a record. UO research produced 43 new inventions and three new spinoff companies in 2005.

Don Gerhart, director of technology transfer for the UO, said it wasn't any single invention that pushed the numbers up.

"We're continuing to see growth here in all sectors," he said. "One thing that really stands out for me is just how broad in nature the expansion is."

The big jump came in spite of only a small increase in overall research spending. The UO's research budget was $86 million last year, up from $85.4 million the year before.

Universities earn money by patenting new inventions and licensing the use of the technology to existing private companies or new ones created to take advantage of the research. Most of the money is plowed back into research by distributing it back to faculty inventors and laboratories.

Gerhart said the UO is seeing increased revenue both from technology licensed and developed several years ago that is now beginning to mature and from new inventions just getting off the ground. UO licenses run the gamut from educational software developed by researchers in the College of Education to high-tech bioscience spinoffs such as MitoScience, which produces monoclonal antibodies used to research the cause of diseases.

Although the UO is in the bottom third of major research universities in terms of its research budget, its performance on technology transfer has compared with much larger programs. …