Oklahoma's two largest universities brought in more money last year through technology licenses than in the previous year, according to a new survey.
The annual survey, conducted by the Association of University Technology Managers, shows both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma saw their technology transfer revenue grow during the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Technology transfer is the process by which universities patent and license technology that was developed by university researchers. Universities generally either sell those licenses to existing businesses or establish new spinoff companies to produce the technology. In both cases, the university earns revenue.
According to the survey, OSU earned about $1.7 million in technology transfer revenue during the 2010-2011 fiscal year, up from $1.4 million the previous year.
OU brought in $852,177 in technology transfer earnings during the same fiscal year, up from $430,000 the previous year.
Nationwide, the survey showed healthy growth in the number of inventions universities licensed. During the 2010-2011 fiscal year, universities nationwide executed 4,899 licenses, a 14 percent increase from the previous year.
During the same fiscal year, universities nationwide raised a combined $2.5 billion in technology transfer revenue, a 2.6 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology Stephen McKeever said universities support the state's economy when they commercialize their research.
The economic impact of any invention a university licenses goes well beyond the amount of revenue the university brings in, McKeever said. Typically, he said, universities receive about 5 percent of the total sales revenue from the product, he said. So if a university brings in $2 million in royalties, the total economic impact of the new technology is about $40 million.