As a leading American research university, the University of Minnesota advances knowledge across a wide range of fields, yielding new solutions and technologies that can then be commercialized for the benefit of the public. Accordingly, technology transfer measures are part of the goals of MPact 2025, the University’s systemwide strategic plan.
In fiscal year (FY) 2022, the University’s technology transfer activities saw continued success, licensing relevant research to companies for the development of new products and services that benefit the public good, foster economic growth, and generate revenue to further support the University’s mission.
Among FY 2022’s highlights: The University of Minnesota created a record number of startups (22) and its inventors were issued a record number of patents (241) by US and foreign authorities.
Technology commercialization statistics (below) reflect deal flow from year to year and are subject to significant volatility. Typically, the University of Minnesota is ranked among the top 10-15 US public universities for key technology transfer metrics.
Technology Commercialization Statistics, FY18-FY22
Dollar amounts in millions
Technology Commercialization, Wellspring Sophia; UMN Enterprise Financial System
*New Patent Filing Rate is number of new patents filed during the fiscal year divided by number of new disclosures in the same time period
In addition to spinning out a record 22 startups based on inventions from faculty and staff, in FY 2022 the University passed a milestone of 200 startups spun out since the formation of the Venture Center within UMN Technology Commercialization in 2006. The University is:
- Launching high quality companies at a higher rate
- Investing additional resources in its venture work,
- Working with potentially dozens of companies outside the University in partnership with the state’s Launch Minnesota program
- On track to achieve its goal to launch 25 startups per year by FY 2025 as part of MPact 2025
New UM startups in FY 2022 remained highly diversified across the sectors of the economy. UMN’s 212 companies spun out from FY 2006 - FY 2022:
- Have a survival rate of 77 percent
- Have located in Minnesota 71 percent of the time
- Have had $1.8 billion in investment, composed of $1.1 billion in startup investment capital and $675 million from Initial Public Offerings and acquisitions
- Have seen 10 companies acquired or gone public since 2017
Record Level of Patents
The record level of patents issued in FY 2022 is a result of quality patent applications from University inventors as well as patent offices worldwide catching up from a backlog created by the pandemic. The University has been strategically including more foreign filings in its patent portfolios in order to tap into markets beyond the United States.
The University’s technology transfer work has been recognized for its excellence in national and global rankings:
- Among the the top 15 US public research universities in FY 2020 based on five key tech transfer metrics: startups launched, inventions disclosed, US patents issued, licenses/options executed, and licensing income; AUTM 2020 Survey
- 18th globally for universities granted US Utility Patents and 4th among Big Ten public institutions; National Academy of Inventors Top 100, 2020
- First for technology transfer within the 20-state heartland region, and fifth among all US public universities; Heartland Forward 2022
- 22nd globally and 2nd among Big Ten public institutions; 2019 World's Most Innovative Universities
- 8th in the US for “innovation impact” and 2nd among Big Ten Public Institutions; George W Bush Institute
- 6th among all US public research institutions and 2nd in the Big Ten; Milken Institute's "Best Universities for Technology Transfer" report
Annual Research Reports
Learn more about the University's research enterprise.