Tech Transfer

U-M Tech Transfer plays a key role in the university’s efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship by working with researchers, business partners and entrepreneurs to transform research discoveries into products and services that enhance our economy and improve our quality of life. Tech Transfer licensing and business development professionals help university investigators license their inventions to existing companies, and create new business entities to help bring these technologies to market.

Tech Transfer also has a Venture Center, a one-stop hub for entrepreneurs and investors interested in U-M startup opportunities. Included within the Venture Center is the Venture Accelerator, with lab and office facilities for emerging U-M startups. The Venture Accelerator is located adjacent to the offices of Tech Transfer, and in proximity to other NCRC resources. The Venture Center team also provides tenants with networking opportunities to accelerate their progress, as well as a robust Mentors in Residence program that brings seasoned leaders of high-growth technology startups into the university to assist with commercialization activities.

A Record-Setting Year

Tech Transfer set several performance records in FY16:

  • 428 new inventions assessed
  • 135 patents issued
  • 173 licenses and option agreements
  • 12 new startups
  • $23 million in revenue

Tech Transfer works with many partners within U-M to educate and encourage faculty and advance high potential projects. These partners include:

  • Business Engagement Center
  • Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Fast Forward Medical Innovation
  • Zell-Lurie Entrepreneurial Institute
  • SPH Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

Tech Transfer also works with external economic development partners, including Ann Arbor SPARK and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  

Over the past five years, Tech Transfer has received over 2,000 new inventions from faculty, had 655 patents issued, completed 716 option and license agreements, and helped to launch 65 new startups, or one every four weeks. In this time period, Tech Transfer agreements have produced $148 million in revenues for U-M inventors and the university to re-invest in continued innovation and entrepreneurship.

For more news about U-M Tech Transfer and the Venture Center, go to

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