For the second year in a row, Temple has set a new milestone for revenues received from licensing agreements for Temple-developed technologies, according to Temple’s Office of Technology Development and Commercialization.
In the fiscal year that ended June 30, Temple received nearly $2.5 million from 24 licensing agreements with companies to develop and market technologies developed by Temple researchers. That amount is double the $1.2 million Temple received in fiscal year 2010-11 and nearly seven times the amount garnered in fiscal year 2009-10.
In addition, Temple researchers are personally receiving approximately $1 million for their share of royalties generated by the intellectual property they have created, according to Stephen Nappi, director of technology development and commercialization. Some inventors are individually receiving more than $300,000 for technology developed at Temple, the largest royalty checks ever awarded to Temple inventors
In addition to the researchers, Temple’s colleges, schools and departments where these technologies were created will split more than $500,000 in licensing-generated revenues.
“These college and department funds will be used to stimulate further research and innovation,” said Nappi. “It is creating a revenue flowback to the areas where these technologies were invented.”
Nappi attributed the continued rise in licensing revenue to four factors: more commercialization opportunities based on a rise in technology created by Temple researchers, an increased number of licensing agreements for Temple-developed technologies, previous agreements that have matured to produce revenue and increased resources to move new technologies from laboratory to marketplace.
“Our role in this office is to make sure we are aggressively moving technology out of the university and with partners who can successfully bring it to market,” said Nappi. “We have been able to do that at an increasing rate every year. The more licensing agreements we can put in place, the more it opens new potential lines of revenue for the university.”
In fiscal year 2011-12, the university entered into eight new licensing agreements, up from five in the previous fiscal year. Nappi believes that number can reach a high of 20 new agreements per year in the near future.
Temple is also bolstering its ability to push newly created technologies along the commercialization pathway. This year the university attracted more than $550,000 in development and proof-of-concept funds from companies and programs like Ben Franklin Technology Partners and BioStrategy Partners, which play an important role in further developing university technologies and assisting emerging and start-up companies in the Greater Philadelphia region. Temple has also obtained incubator space at the University City Science Center to allow Temple spin-off companies to focus their resources on raising money and developing the technologies.
Nappi said Temple has increased external awareness of university-developed technologies through traditional means — such as conferences, meetings and summits — but is now also successfully using social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a way to market these technologies.
“We’ve been able to attract a licensee through this type of marketing,” he said.
A story generated by University Communications on a faculty member’s technology was posted on LinkedIn by Senior Vice Provost for Research Ken Blank. After reading the article, an investor formed a start-up company that now has an exclusive arrangement to raise money and develop that technology, said Nappi.