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Posted on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 : 11:56 a.m.

University of Michigan's technology transfer office licensed 8 startups in 2008-09

By Nathan Bomey

The University of Michigan's technology licensing office weathered the financial crisis during the 2008-09 by spinning off eight new startup companies.

That compares to 13 during the 2007-08 fiscal year and an average of about 9 over the last nine years. The Tech Transfer Office licenses university technology to entrepreneurs and corporations.

The data - to be addressed further during U-M President Mary Sue Coleman's "State of the University" speech this afternoon - reflects a period defined by the global financial crisis, which caused investors to fund startups cautiously.

The university experienced a 20 percent boost in royalty income, which rose to a record $15.1 million, officials said. U-M also received $3 million in "equity returns" due to its ownership in affiliated startups. The university's policy is to reinvest the money in research, licensing efforts and economic development pursuits.

U-M filed for 151 patents and disclosed 350 new inventions by its faculty members during the 2008-09 fiscal year, which ended June 30. During the 2007-08 fiscal year, the university filed for 132 patents and disclosed 306 inventions.

The university signed 78 licensing deals with companies during the 2008-09 fiscal year.

U-M Tech Transfer Office Executive Director Ken Nisbet could not be immediately reached for comment this morning.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter. Join Bomey at 3:30 p.m. today, when he'll be liveblogging Coleman's speech.