UC Berkeley News


Study highlights UC as tech-transfer powerhouse
With three campuses among the world's 10 strongest in biotech licensing, system shines in key metrics

| 28 September 2006

Among universities worldwide, the University of California system averaged the highest level of licensing income annually - almost $100 million - from its research discoveries in biotechnology, according to a new think-tank study of biotech-knowledge transfer.

The Milken Institute study, "Mind to Market: A Global Analysis of University Biotechnology Transfer and Commercialization," sought to determine which universities worldwide were doing the best job at technology transfer and commercialization of their discoveries and inventions in biotechnology. It highlights the importance of research to a university's bottom line and its positive economic effects on its region.

Among its findings are these:

. From 1997 to 2003, the UC system was the most successful university in licensing income from its discoveries and inventions, a total average of about $100 million per year, followed by Stanford University ($50 million) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($33 million).

. The UC system is runner-up behind MIT (among U.S. and Canadian universities) in turning knowledge into commercially viable products and start-up companies.

. UC ranked first in number of U.S. biotech patents issued: 723 patents between 2000 and 2004.

. UC produces the second-highest number of start-up businesses, approximately 20 a year.

. One out of every five nanotech patents comes from the UC system.

Three UC campuses are in the Top 10 rankings worldwide as measured by research publications, U.S. patents issued, and the commercial impact of the discoveries. They are UCSF (4th), UC San Diego (6th), and UCLA (10th). Harvard University is No. 1 based on the three performance indicators. (Berkeley was ranked No. 7 in biotech patenting worldwide, behind only UCSF among all UC campuses; it did not do as well in the other two areas, coming in at No. 25 in publication ranking and No. 29 on the study's "technology transfer and commercialization index.")

The UC system has maintained an active patenting and patent-licensing program for more than 40 years. Technology transfer at UC comprises campus licensing offices on nine of its campuses and a central administrative office at the UC Office of the President, which is the administrative headquarters for the UC system.

An objective of UC's technology-transfer program is to license patents to industry to promote the development of inventions that have a practical use for the public. UC shares the income from licensed patents with the inventor and uses its share to support additional research and education.

The Milken Institute report is available at www.milkeninstitute.org.