TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 19, 2016) – The University of South Florida has set a new institutional record, with 133 license and option agreements executed in FY 2016. The number is a 12 percent increase over FY 2015, when USF had 119 license and option agreements. These agreements represent companies that have contracted with USF to further develop research into commercial products
“Economic development is one of USF’s most important missions. We are one of the nation’s largest public research universities and we play a leading role in growing and elevating the Tampa Bay Region’s economy through our discoveries,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “Through innovation and invention, our talented faculty and students are at the forefront of projects that are producing new technologies, developing new cures, and making life better for others.”
USF had 105 U.S. patents granted in FY 2016 and 90 for the 2015 calendar year, placing USF in the top 10 nationally among public universities for the past six years in generating new inventions, according to the annual ranking by the Intellectual Property Owners/National Academy of Inventors.
“At USF, we understand the value of patents and commercialization and the positive effect that a commitment to translating our research can have,” said Paul R. Sanberg, senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development at USF.
“The advantages to universities range from enhancing student success and supporting a high level of scholarship among faculty to increased opportunities for research funding, access to unrestricted funds for further institutional investment, greater prestige, and economic development,” said Sanberg, “as well as the societal impact derived from the patents and products of our inventors and entrepreneurs.”
“USF is a high-impact research university dedicated to the commercialization of research for the public benefit,” said Valerie Landrio McDevitt, USF associate vice president for technology transfer & business partnerships. “By bringing USF’s innovation into the marketplace, we can not only benefit local and national economic development, but help change lives.”
USF also had nine new startup companies in FY 2016, and has facilitated the formation of 50 startups in the last five years. This year’s startups ranged from waste repurposing to create sustainable sources of nutrients, energy and water to a guided particle system technology for the defense/aerospace, medical, consumer electronics and automotive industries, McDevitt said.
In addition, USF launched the Seed Capital Accelerator Program in 2013, which provides up to $50,000 in convertible debt to support startup companies. In 2016, USF launched an even earlier-stage startup funding program called the Bull Ring Accelerator Grant Program, or BRAG. The BRAG program provides $25,000 of grant funding to very early stage companies, such as those that have just participated in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps, or I-Corps, program. USF is an NSF-designated I-Corps Site that provides infrastructure, training and resources to entrepreneurial teams of USF faculty and students to determine if their work can be translated into viable products and companies.
USF is ranked among the top 25 public universities in the nation for total research expenditures by the NSF. The university has been designated by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University and recognized for community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
“We credit our research success to the ongoing collaboration between our researchers, administrative staff, business and economic partners, and our community,” said Sanberg.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 25 research university among public institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.