Letter from the Director:
CTTC reaches milestone, eclipses 100 deals
It’s not often that a service-oriented unit is able to celebrate audacious achievement, but we at the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization are doing just that. The Center ended FY 2014 with 101 licensing transactions with industry partners, nearly 20 more than our record total, set last year.
In my nearly 20-year history in academic technology commercialization, I have never been involved with a program that even came close to this level of deal flow. And this was accomplished AFTER applying more rigor to what we count as a bone fide licensing transaction. Several years ago, to be consistent with national counting standards, CTTC stopped counting transactions with an expected lifetime earning potential below a certain threshold toward our annual licensing totals.
And though the number of licenses executed is an important indication of programmatic success, so too is the type and quality of such licenses; not all licenses are created equal. Some transactions, such as research materials licenses and end-user software licenses, create short-term value. Others, namely patent and software licenses with royalty obligations on product sales, offer opportunity for long-term value creation. In FY14, not only did Vanderbilt’s total licensing numbers reach new heights, but we also saw a rise in the number of high value potential, royalty-bearing licenses.
So while there are clear short-term benefits to achieving such a high volume of licenses, the real benefits will be realized 10 years down the line when technologies licensed in FY14 result in products on the market. These products will generate recurring revenues that are distributed to the inventors and their designated schools, departments, centers and institutes, all to support our academic research mission and to reward Vanderbilt inventors for their contributions to new innovations that impact society.
To learn more about our FY14 metrics, see the latest issue of our newsletter Driving Innovation Forward
, featuring imaging institute researcher Will Grissom, Ph.D., assistant professor biomedical engineering.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Commercialization and Intellectual Property Protection