The Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution published a recent study looking at how university tech transfer offices can be more successful. It seems that though there are now 174 such offices in the US, only 37 have ever been in the top 20 revenue generators for any given year in the past 10 years. And the top 10% (16) offices collect nearly 75% of the license revenue, and 87% of all offices did not break even.
Brookings says te model is flawed. Tech offices should not concentrae on generating licensing revenue from its patents, but rather should look to help create university spawned start-up companies. In fact, university start-ups numbered 330 in 2003 and have risen to 647 in 2012. Supposedly, TTO's can offer services to faculty-inventors who want to commercialized their ideas but have little to no experience in starting up a firm. It's said in the report that TTO's can add the most value by acting in this capacity. See Patent Docs blog.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Dec 13th 2013.