Something to be proud of:

University of Massachusetts licensing income from its intellectual property income climbed to $73 million during Fiscal Year 2009, a record and a performance likely to vault UMass into the intellectual property income Top 10 nationwide, according to a year end report released last week.

“Research and discovery are crucial to the Commonwealth’s innovation economy and will drive economic renewal and recovery in this state and across the nation. Having a robust research program is a great advantage for the 63,000 students of the University of Massachusetts system, who have the benefit of learning from the very people who are expanding the boundaries of human knowledge,” President Jack Wilson said.

UMass generated $37 million in licensing income from its intellectual property in Fiscal Year 2008 and saw its earnings soar in Fiscal Year 2009, which ended on June 30, largely as a result of UMass Medical School receiving a $30 million upfront payment from Merck & Co. as a result of the licensing of a human monoclonal antibody combination for clostridium difficile infection – a treatment developed at the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories.

In recent years, according to the Association of University Technology Managers annual survey, UMass has ranked among the Top 15 nationwide in intellectual property income of reporting institutions and the past year’s major jump in earnings is likely to vault it into the Top 10 nationally.

Universities generate intellectual property income when they protect faculty discoveries through patents and trademarks and companies license those discoveries to produce innovative products. Universities may also generate income when they receive company equity and later sell stocks as emerging companies become more successful.

Ten years ago, income from UMass intellectual property was $6,900,000, and began the climb after the the board of trustees adopted commercial venture and intellectual property policies. – WJB