Association of University Technology Managers

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The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) is an organization devoted to promoting technology transfer between universities and colleges and private enterprise and/or the government. Membership consists primarily of technology transfer professionals that work for universities. The organization is primarily US based. The association was founded in 1974 as the Society of University Patent Administrators to address the objective of getting research out for public use. The first meeting in 1974 had 75 participants. Today, the association claims over 3,500 members worldwide.

US universities collectively produce about 3,000 U.S. patents per year. These patents are licensed to outside firms or start up companies in order to have these third parties commercialize the inventions. Licensing revenue received by U.S. universities from licensing in 2006 was over $1.25 billion.[1] By way of context, in FY2007, US university expenditures for federally funded science and engineering were $30.4 billion. Universities reported total funding for science and engineering of $49.4 billion. Of that amount, $2.7 billion, or slightly over 5%, came from industry sources.[2]

Bayh-Dole Act[edit]

The enactment of the Bayh-Dole Act harmonized federal policy with regard to management of inventions made by non-profit organizations in the course of federally funded research. Prior to the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, universities were able to claim patent rights by means of specially negotiated Institutional Patent Agreements, which were agency-specific. Most government agencies, however, claimed ownership of inventions made with federal funds. The Bayh-Dole Act was passed in response to the observation that very few of the inventions for which the government obtained patents were being commercialized.[3] The rationale behind the Act was that universities would be more effective than the federal government in using the patent system to encourage practical application of government funded inventions, partner with industry on matters of research and innovation, and to enhance the participation of small business concerns.[4][5]

As a result of the Bayh-Dole Act, many universities and other non-profit research organizations have developed technology licensing offices to manage inventions, patents, and licensing activities.[6] AUTM provides support to these offices and to technology licensing professionals through training programs, conferences, and publications.

There is still considerable debate as to whether or not the use of the patent system to stimulate innovation arising from federally funded university research has achieved the level of impact anticipated by the Bayh-Dole Act.

Members of AUTM[edit]

In addition to U.S.-based Technology Transfer Companies there are a lot of foreign Technology Transfer Companies from the world. Those Technology Transfer Companies aim to take part of AUTM and strengthen their connection with U.S.-based Technology Transfer companies. Among those members there is Yissum,[7] the Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University.


  1. ^ AUTM FY2006 U.S. Licensing Activity Survey
  2. ^ Ronda Britt, "Universities Report Continued Decline in Real Federal S&E R&D Funding in FY2007"
  3. ^ "WARF and Bayh-Dole"
  4. ^ USC 35 Section 200. Policy and Objective
  5. ^ Elizabeth Popp Berman, "Redefining Technology Transfer: How Patents Became a Proxy for the Success of U.S. Science"
  6. ^ Council on Government Relations, "The Bayh-Dole Act: A Guide to the Law and Implementing Regulations"
  7. ^ Yissum's Website

External links[edit]