The annual report of invention disclosures at the University of Cincinnati (UC), and deals made with industry to develop them, shows a significant increase in ideas that may one day be brought to market, according to the head of UC’s Intellectual Property Office.
Anne Chasser, in only her second year as UC’s associate vice president for technology transfer and commercialization, says that during 2005–06, UC generated more invention disclosures and identified more collaboration among its various colleges and more commercial activity involving UC technology than ever before.
This year’s Intellectual Property Office report, says Sandra Degen, PhD, vice president of research, shows that “innovation is alive and well at UC, which reflects our commitment to be a major player among the world’s academic institutions not only in research, education and health care delivery, but as a business driver too.”
“The big story in this year’s report,” says Chasser, “is the fact that more collaboration is occurring across all campus colleges. Funding sources like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, from which we get 85 percent of our research support, are now focusing on interdisciplinary collaboration as one of their major criteria. Collaboration is the future in terms of obtaining research funding, and we’re good at it.”
Released yesterday, the report cites the example of Xanthostat Diagnostics Inc., a Cincinnati-based start-up company that is developing technology to improve detection of bleeding in the brain. The device evolved from collaboration between Joseph Clark, PhD, of UC’s neurology department in the College of Medicine, and Fred Beyette, PhD, of the College of Engineering. The company began in an “entrepreneurial boot camp” sponsored by the National Science Foundation and is now developing a prototype device based on intellectual property licenses from UC.
This year, Chasser’s office reports 116 invention disclosures—patentable discoveries made by UC faculty, staff or students while conducting research at the university. Of these disclosures, about 20 percent were interdisciplinary collaborations, compared with only 1 percent last year.
The 116 disclosures also represented a 30 percent increase in overall disclosures compared with last year.
“Deal flow,” the amount of commercial activity involving UC’s intellectual property, increased from 17 deals last year to 24 in 2005–06, and patents issued on UC-generated ideas rose from nine to 11, Chasser reports.