According to a new survey, US universities increased the number of licenses and options executed by over 20% between fiscal years (FY) 2001 and 2003. However, the number of startups created from such licenses dropped 17%. The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), released its latest annual licensing survey, which covers FY2003. AUTM sent questionnaires to the licensing offices and 236 institutions responded.

The survey showed that the number of startups created in FY2003 was only 374, much less that the 424 two years earlier. The shift of licenses to more established businesses is is seen by the decrease in number of licenses to startups and small firms, which decreased from 69% in FY2002 to 65.5% in FY2003, while those to large companies increased from 31% to 34.5%.

Much of this would seem to be due to the overall drop in technology investing in early-stage companies and parallel drop in the stock market.  We’ve  seen a gradual increase in interest by investors in starting up companies and a more aggressive approach by big-pharma and bio companies to look to universities and start-ups for products to fill their pipeline.

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