UNM technology startups, licensing deals and issued patents show growth

August 3, 2016 - Excerpted from Albuquerque Journal and STC News

UNM logo with duck pond as background

A big win for UNM technology transfer, according to STC.UNM President and CEO Lisa Kuuttila, is the recent $90 million sale of medical diagnostic tech firm Intellicyt Corp. to Sartorius AG, a global industry giant with operations in 110 countries. UNM could earn nearly $1 million from the sale after cashing out the stock. Best of all, Intellicyt will continue to operate in New Mexico with its current 55-employee workforce.

Intellicyt launched in 2006 with technology licensed through STC.

UNM innovations have resulted in 78 new startups over the last 10 years. 60% of those are still in business, and about 75% are located in New Mexico.

FY 2015-2016 had the most startups and the most patents issued in one year for UNM

12 new businesses formed with UNM technology in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-1016, according to the STC. Nine startups formed in each of the previous three years. That is the most startups in any single year since the technology transfer program began in 1996.

UNM signed 54 licensing deals with companies in FY 2016 to take university inventions to market. (There were 50 last year and just 25 a decade ago.)

69 new patents were issued by the US Patent Office to UNM inventions in FY 15-16. There were 46 the previous year. It is by far the most patents issued in a single year to UNM researchers. (The next highest is 51 patents in FY 13-14.)

UNM makes the top 100 list

The National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association included UNM again this year on its annual list of 100 universities and research organizations worldwide receiving U.S. patents. It’s the third year in a row UNM has made the list, released July 12.

Revenue growth from technology transfer

The tech transfer program earned at least $2.51 million in royalties and patent income for UNM this year. Those numbers are still preliminary and are expected to climb as more technology licensees report their sales revenue for FY 2016 to STC in the coming weeks, Kuuttila said. The university earned $2.73 million in FY 2015 and just $938,000 10 years ago.

One caveat is an ongoing concern with the low level of early-stage capital available in New Mexico for startups. Five of the 12 startups this year chose to locate in other states. Last year, seven of the nine startups located in New Mexico.

UNM is rated as a leading research university in worldwide ranking

The success of research at UNM is key to a recent high ranking by CWUR, the largest global academic ranking of universities. UNM was ranked as No. 196 of 1,000 universities worldwide out of more than 25,000 universities. The top indicators for UNM were in the areas of citations (No. 90) and patents (no. 119). When compared against U.S. institutions directly, UNM was ranked No. 82. See the related article:

UNM is ranked among the best worldwide in the largest academic ranking of universities

This article was excerpted from the sources below, where you can learn more about the technology transfer initiatives at UNM:

UNM-linked startup launches accelerating
Tech Bytes article by Kevin Robinson Avila in The Albuquerque Journal

STC Year-End Metrics Bring Good News for University and Community