Annette Hacker, director,
Office: (515) 294-4777
John Brighton, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, (515) 294-6344, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth Kirkland, Iowa State University Research Foundation and the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, (515) 294-4740, email@example.com
Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917, firstname.lastname@example.org
National Science Foundation study: Iowa State a technology licensing 'powerhouse'
AMES, Iowa -- A new report supported by the National Science Foundation identifies Iowa State University as a model of economic development activity.
The report includes a case study of Iowa State's efforts to transfer technologies developed on campus to start-up companies and existing businesses. The study made special note of Iowa State's record of licensing university-developed technologies to companies, calling the university a "licensing powerhouse."
The report noted that the Iowa State University Research Foundation executed 218 licenses in the year ending June 30, 2005. That was second in the country behind the University of California system.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment considering the University of California system has about $3 billion in research expenditures compared to ISU's $210 million," the case study said.
The study also noted Iowa State's total of 745 active licenses ranks sixth in the country. And the five start-up companies Iowa State launched in fiscal year 2005 ranked 22nd nationally.
"We work very hard at economic development on this campus," said John Brighton, Iowa State's vice president for research and economic development. "It is a university priority to translate university discoveries into viable technologies and products that strengthen the economies of the state and the world. We're glad to see our efforts are being held up as an example for other campuses."
The report, "Technology Transfer and Commercialization Partnerships," was prepared by Innovation Associates Inc. of Reston, Va. The company specializes in technology-based economic development.
Report author Diane Palmintera worked with a national advisory committee to identify and study successful technology transfer programs at schools that did not have top 50 research and development budgets.
"Despite geographic challenges and relatively modest research expenditures, universities such as Iowa State University, Brigham Young University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University of Akron have succeeded in licensing innovations and forming start-ups," the report said. "In 2005, Iowa State University executed more licenses than any U.S. university except one, ranking well above universities that had research expenditures many times higher."
The report said Iowa State has six technology transfer lessons for other universities:
Kenneth Kirkland, the executive director of the Iowa State University Research Foundation and the director of Iowa State's Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, offered one other lesson to the report's authors.
"We consider our office a service arm of the university," he said in the case study. "We don't focus on the income but instead focus on businesses getting access to (ISU) technologies."
A study prepared with support from the National Science Foundation calls Iowa State University a "licensing powerhouse" for its work to transfer technologies developed on campus to businesses. In fiscal year 2005, in fact, the Iowa State University Research Foundation ranked second nationally in the number of technology licenses it executed.
"We work very hard at economic development on this campus. It is a university priority to translate university discoveries into viable technologies and products that strengthen the economies of the state and the world. We're glad to see our efforts are being held up as an example for other campuses."
John Brighton, Iowa State's vice president for research and economic development