December 13, 2000
Purdue research translates into Indiana revenues
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. The Association of University Technology Managers this fall reports the commercialization of research at Purdue resulted in more than $2.3 million in royalty income, 24 patents and four start-up companies last year.
The $2.3 million in royalty income is a 39 percent increase over 1998 when Purdue earned $1.71 million, said Lisa Kuuttila, assistant vice president and director of the Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization. Royalties are based on product sales.
"Our royalty figures this year are due to more than an estimated $20 million in sales of actual products designed from Purdue research," Kuuttila said.
"We are able to have a significant impact on the state's economy when you figure these sales translate directly into more revenue for Indiana businesses and more jobs for Indiana residents," she said.
The university's licensing income also helps move more innovations on campus into the marketplace. More than $760,000 of last year's royalties went into a Purdue Research Foundation fund that provides seed money to commercialize Purdue research.
"One-third of all royalty income is earmarked for new projects coming out of Purdue laboratories," Kuuttila said. "Some is used to further develop technology before it is licensed, while other income is invested in start-up companies based on a Purdue invention."
The remaining income is split evenly between the inventor and his or her academic department.
Four new companies were started in 1999 based on Purdue-licensed technologies. One of those companies is SEAS, LLC, a games simulation software company launched with help from the Office of Technology Commercialization and the Purdue Research Foundation.
SEAS, Synthetic Environments for Advanced Simulations, was started by two professors in the Purdue Krannert Graduate School of Management who designed war-game simulation software with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense. Alok Chaturvedi, professor of management information systems, and Shailendra Mehta, director of entrepreneurship and small business outreach, then adapted their work for the government into something marketable for businesses.
"A company can work with SEAS to develop software designed to train its senior management on how to develop strategy relative to changes in the marketplace," Kuuttila said.
The Office of Technology Commercialization, under its original name of Patent and Copyright Office, was formed in the mid-1970s.
The success of technology transfer programs nationwide is attributed to the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act. This legislation made it legal for universities, non-profit research institutions and small business to own inventions developed under federally funded research. Purdue's Patent and Copyright Office helped then Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh draft the language for the act.
In 1999, activity associated with academic research generated more than 340 new companies, more than $40 billion in product sales and more than 400 new products across the country.
Since 1984, university researchers have been granted 297 U.S. patents.
Source: Lisa Kuuttila, (765) 496-7378, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Jenny Pratt, (765) 494-2079, email@example.com
Other sources: Alok Chaturvedi, (765) 494-9048, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shailendra Mehta, (765) 494-5703, email@example.com