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UMass generates $73 million in intellectual property income, receives $47 million in federal stimulus research funding

BOSTON -- University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson today announced that the University's 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.

Meanwhile, President Wilson also announced that UMass researchers have already been awarded $47 million in grant funding under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with more awards expected to come to UMass in the weeks ahead.

"We know that University of Massachusetts faculty members are among the most outstanding researchers and innovators in the world and the performance that we see in the areas of research funding and intellectual property commercialization vividly underscores that fact.

"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 Wilson said.

President Wilson made the announcements as the University's Board of Trustees Committee on Science, Technology and Research held its quarterly meeting.

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 as a result of the licensing of a human monoclonal antibody combination for clostridium difficile infection - a treatment developed at the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories. Read the release here.

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.

President Wilson said that faculty researchers from across the five-campus University of Massachusetts system have submitted more than 400 research proposals for funding made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To date, 65 projects have been approved, generating $47 million in funding. Some of the projects that are receiving ARRA funding had already been submitted for federal funding before the stimulus program was created.

Professor Thomas Russell of UMass Amherst has received $16 million in funding for research on improving the performance of polymer materials in converting sunlight into electricity, and Professor Robert Finberg of UMass Medical School has received $3.7 million for a project that focuses on improving the fundamental understanding of the herpes simplex 1 virus, the immunity response of hosts and factors relating to the dormancy and reactivation of the disease in humans.

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-548-0238


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Robert P. Connolly
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