By Hugh G. Willett, Knoxville News Sentinel

KNOXVILLE – Over the last fiscal year the University of Tennessee Research Foundation has helped establish nine startup companies based on technology developed by university faculty.

The number of startups is double the previous year and an indication that the program is meeting its goal of promoting and commercializing technology licensed from across the UT system.

In 2012 UTRF received 141 new invention disclosures, up from 87 in 2011. An invention disclosure is a confidential document that a university inventor submits to describe an invention.

“Our mission is to facilitate innovation,” said David Washburn, vice president of UTRF.

Between 1999 and 2011, UTRF spun out 32 companies based on UT intellectual property, averaging two to four companies a year for the past five years.

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