The Impact of Bayh-Dole: UIC sees record numbers of royalty revenue and patents

The University of Illinois Chicago once again saw record numbers of royalty revenue and patents last year, according to the Office of Technology Management (OTM) FY20 Impact Report, which shows the commercial impact of the UIC research community.

The Bayh-Dole Act transformed the way that universities develop and commercialize new technologies that emanate from federally funded research. Dec. 12 marked the 40th anniversary of the Act, which has helped UIC translate new innovations into products and services that have a profound impact on human lives.

Also known as the Patent and Trade Law Act, the legislation has become better known by the names of its sponsors — the late Sen. Birch Bayh and former Sen. Bob Dole. At the time, federally funded scientific research was controlled by the government. The inventors were losing sole rights to their inventions, as the government made the research available to anyone through non-exclusive licensing. The legislation would eventually enable scientists at universities across the U.S. to create life-saving therapeutics such as the HIV treatment, bladder cancer therapy, and shingles vaccine created at UIC. These successful therapeutics and many other innovative technologies would have sat on a shelf before the Bayh-Dole Act.

UIC has consistently exceeded the national average in royalty revenue generated through the commercialization of research. With more than $50 million in royalty revenue in FY 2020, UIC is projected to rank in the top 10 revenue generating universities — up from the number 23 spot last year. This success builds on the continued growth and expansion of UIC’s innovation and commercialization portfolio despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This record high in royalty revenue shows that our research is turning into products with great value, and that value emphasizes that the work we do at UIC has tremendous impact on the people here in Chicago and around the world,” said UIC Vice Chancellor for Innovation TJ Augustine.

UIC royalty revenues are reinvested into the university’s research portfolio where they are used to fund initiatives such as the UIC Innovation Fund, which supports commercialization through programs such as the Chancellor’s Translational Research Initiative (CTRI) and the Proof-of-Concept (POC) Awards Program. To date, CTRI and POC have awarded over $5 million in funding to advance UIC innovations, helping researchers prove the viability of their ideas and commercialize new technologies.

The OTM continues its mission of supporting technology commercialization by working closely with UIC researchers to protect their ideas, negotiate licenses, and provide education opportunities on the commercialization process.

“This is remarkable given the current climate. Our success is faculty success. We could not do our jobs without faculty leadership in conducting the excellent research that we have at UIC,” said UIC OTM Director Suseelan Pookote.

To learn more about UIC’s commercial impact, please see the latest OTM Impact Report.

About the UIC Innovation Fund
The UIC Innovation Fund supports the commercialization of technologies developed by faculty, staff and students at UIC. The fund supports programs that help UIC technologies reach important milestones that are critical to commercialization. The fund is managed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation in partnership with the Office of Technology Management.

About the Office of Technology Management
The UIC Office of Technology Management works with faculty, staff, and students to advance research, education, and economic development through technology transfer, the process of moving scientific discoveries from the lab to the marketplace.

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