News: Press Releases

October 17, 2013

President Caret promotes innovation and technology on third day of bus tour

  • The UMass System
Says UMass generated $35 million in licensing income from research, a banner year for patents

Oct. 17, 2013: The University of Massachusetts generated $35.3 million in income from the commercialization of its academic research, started three new companies, and broke its own record for the number of patents issued in a single year with 64, UMass President Robert L. Caret said today, on the final day of his three-day statewide bus tour.

President Caret touted the new licensing figures for fiscal year 2013 while touring Mass Biologics in the Mattapan section of Boston. Mass Biologics, which is a part of UMass Medical School, is the only non-profit FDA-licensed biologics and vaccine manufacturing facility in the United States and it is where UMass Medical School scientists are developing new treatments for rabies, hepatitis C, and C. difficile infection. Both the Medical School and Mass Biologics are responsible for a majority of the University's income from discoveries and products.

``The innovative research occurring at the University of Massachusetts is having an enormous impact in the Commonwealth and beyond, and helps to support  the robust biotech and life sciences industries we are fortunate enough to see emerging in this state,'' President Caret said. ``We want to do our part to strengthen and expand these university-industry partnerships all across the state, and bring better products and services to the citizens of the Commonwealth.''

President Caret said that the 64 patents for fiscal year 2013, which ended June 30, is the most ever for UMass, which did not establish a licensing office until 1994. UMass also had a banner year with faculty members disclosing 172 discoveries, President Caret said, citing figures just released by the University's Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP).  He said UMass entered into 22 agreements with companies to commercialize University-invented technologies into products and services.

The three companies the University created this year based on technology developed by its researchers are:

  • Felsuma, which is commercializing a novel technology known as "Gecksin," which could replace zippers, Velcro, and a range of other technologies that attach and release surfaces. The Geckskin technology was developed by Professors Duncan Irschick and Alfred Crosby at UMass Amherst.
  • Endeavor Medical Technologies, which is commercializing a low-cost miniature optical fiber pressure sensor for use in medical catheters and was developed by Professor Xingwei Wang in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at UMass Lowell.
  • OCL, which is based on food-processing technology to improve water holding capacity and tenderness in cooked protein food products.. It was developed by Professor Herbert Hutlin in the Food Science Department at UMass Amherst.

The University of Massachusetts ranked 11th on a list of US universities with the highest licensing revenue for every $1 million it spent on research, according to a recent analysis of data over a 20-year period from the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). UMass also had the best record of any university in New England. The analysis was conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which compiled the list based on a review of AUTM data between 1991 and 2011.

Among Massachusetts colleges and universities, UMass ranks third in total research and development expenditures, behind only MIT and Harvard. The University's R&D expenditures were nearly $600 million in fiscal year 2012.

Contact: Ann Scales, 617-287-4084; Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073