Founded in the 1990s, the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at Rensselaer helps the Institute protect intellectual property and forges relationships with industry to bring Rensselaer’s discoveries to the marketplace. Discoveries in nanotechnology, electronics, energy, biotechnology, and terahertz are all part of the Institute’s expanding intellectual property portfolio as Rensselaer increases its aggressive research initiative.
On May 21, the OTC recognized and awarded patent plaques to more than 30 members of the Rensselaer community during the annual Inventor’s Luncheon. Laban Coblentz, chief of staff and associate vice president for policy and planning, delivered remarks at the event, held in the Heffner Alumni House.
“We are very pleased to acknowledge the growing number of faculty and students with discoveries that are changing the world, and generating a new momentum in research and the development of innovative technolgies,”
With the establishment of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), Rensselaer has staked its claim in the changing landscape of American research universities, where researchers are increasingly encouraged to protect and commercialize their discoveries for life-enhancing products.
“We are very pleased to acknowledge the growing number of faculty and students with discoveries that are changing the world, and generating a new momentum in research and the development of innovative technologies,” said Charles Rancourt ’70, OTC director.
“The total research here is growing as we increase faculty and facilities,” Rancourt said. “With the new biotech center and EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center), and as Rensselaer continues to build research staff and develop innovative educational programs, this results in additional invention disclosures that generate dollars as the process matures.”
In fiscal year 2007, Rensselaer received about $1,150,000 in revenue from licensing and patent reimbursements, the largest ever. This year, through the OTC’s efforts, licensing revenues and patent reimbursements paid to the Institute are expected to be approximately $900,000, building upon a steady annual growth rate of more than 50 percent since 2002 when Rensselaer only generated $62,000.
Last year, Rensselaer was among 10 universities recognized for their efforts in licensing technologies and spinning off new enterprises at unprecedented rates. The report, Technology Transfer and Commercialization Partnerships, produced by Innovation Associates Inc., was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Rensselaer was noted for spinning off several new technology businesses; one business started by Rensselaer students, known as MapInfo, is now a $166 million-a-year enterprise, according to the report.
Since 2000, more than 250 inventors have filed patent disclosures with the OTC. In addition, more than 110 patents have been issued and Rensselaer has over 45 active licenses and averages 12 to 15 new deals a year, according to Rancourt.
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