One fact is for sure, the world economy looks rather complicated these days. Another true fact is that more research and entrepreneurship create jobs and growth. The good news is universities are ramping up their efforts to commercialize their research. Universities filed more patents, created more startups, and licensed more technologies in fiscal year 2010 than in prior years, according to a survey conducted by the Association of University Technology Managers. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that patents has grown from 3,088 in 2009 to 4109 in 2010 and the number of startups based on university technology also increased from 555 to 613.
One challenge many of the university based startup companies are facing is their early-stage technology that may not be an attractive investment opportunity for venture capitalists until their idea is further developed. Some universities are working to fill that gap by creating their own commercialization funds or providing resources to finance experiments or prototypes that don’t typically have a place in academic labs.