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Universities underpin economic growth


Innovations born in the world of academia have contributed more than a trillion dollars to the US economy over the past two decades, according to a new report.

Examining the licensing of university technology, a study undertaken by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), reveals that over a 20 year period  ‘academic patents and the subsequent licensing to industry’ boosted industry output by $1.33 trillion.

The Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the United States: 1996- 2015 report was launched at this week’s BIO International Convention in San Diego.

“Some of today’s most important science—from life-saving medicines to game-changing technologies—arose from research at universities. Rocket fuel, insulin, pacemakers and Google, just to name a few inventions that have made the world a better place. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we protect and strengthen the policies that afford us strong patent rights to ensure we all have access to the next generation of innovations,” said Mary Albertson, AUTM President.

And BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood hailed the country’s patent system as being “critical to ensuring US economic revival and spurring the next wave of American innovation in the life sciences”.

He added: “American research universities, along with industry partners, are turning federally-funded basic research into new and valuable products that save and improve lives. The commercialization of university-based research to create new companies and good, high-paying jobs is a key driver of America’s innovation economy. This updated study demonstrates that fact.”


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