Inventions and Patent Applications at UT Reach Record High in 2013 KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee Research Foundation recorded an all-time high of 145 invention disclosures and filed a record 87 U.S. patent applications for FY 2013, according to its recently released annual report. The UT Research Foundation (UTRF) is a not-for-profit organization responsible for commercializing and licensing technology discovered by faculty across the UT System. “We have been very active, reaching into all corners of the UT research community and encouraging our scientists to disclose their inventions,” said UTRF President David Washburn. The push to bring new inventions to light is a component of the rebuilding process under way at UTRF that started two and a half years ago. Today, UTRF is well positioned to respond to the increased number in inventions because for the first time in many years, the organization is operating at full staff. “By working together with the support of a strong and fully staffed UTRF, researchers across the UT System are starting to realize that their technology will be properly screened and vetted in the commercial marketplace, and because of this, we’re seeing an increased interest in commercialization,” Washburn said. The University filed 87 patent applications in FY13, up from 49 a year ago. There were 28 U.S. patents issued based on UT technology in FY13. In summer 2010, David Millhorn, UT System executive vice president and vice president for research and economic development, outlined a three-phased plan to accelerate the technology commercialization operations across the entire UT System. This plan focused on stabilizing, energizing and maximizing UTRF.
“UTRF is stable. We’ve made our investments, and UTRF is positioned for success,” said Millhorn. “The energy inside of UTRF is starting to show results. Our leading indicators, disclosures and patent filings, are both positive.” UTRF also executed 21 license agreements and spun out four new startup companies commercializing UT intellectual property in FY13. The startups were: • Psychoeducational Associates – a company formed by faculty in the UT Knoxville College of Education, Health and Human Sciences to market educational assessment tools, including the Assessment of Reading Instructional Knowledge-Adults (ARIK-A), a test created by the faculty to assess a teacher’s ability to teach adults how to read. To learn more about ARIK-A, visit https://utrf.tennessee.edu/techtransfer/news/ARIKA.shtml. • Ascendant Global Technology – a company based out of New Mexico working on cognitive disease detection. • LifeCareSim LLC – a Memphis based company formed by faculty in the UT Health Science Center College of Nursing to market a teaching tool that uses a game-based structure to generate patient scenarios for nursing students. • The fourth is Massachusetts based startup commercializing a battery technology.