University research innovations bring in the revenue

Among universities across the country, one avenue to garner recognition and earn accolades is to actively participate in research that professionals in any given field can regularly use and apply.

This year, the University has increased its mark in the research field by being nationally recognized for its “innovation yield” – the rate at which it turns research into revenue.@@ugh —[email protected]@ For the 2010 fiscal year, an annual self-reported, nationwide survey conducted by the Association of University Technology Managers@@ revealed that the University was ranked 16th in the nation — its highest rank ever attained.

During that time period alone, the University produced nearly $7.5 million in license income on $115.6 million in research expenditures — a rate that generated an innovation yield of 6.48 percent. According to additional data provided by the survey, the University’s “innovation yield” easily outpaced other notable higher education institutions in the state, including Oregon State University (1.15 percent), Oregon Health & Science University (0.31 percent) and Portland State University (0.16 percent).@@

Chuck Williams,@@[email protected]@ the University’s director of technology transfer, said nearly 3 percent of licensing income is shared with the University innovators who created the product, and that 87 percent is reinvested in academic units and projects. In particular, Williams noted that the University is unique because much of the reinvestment goes to the College of Education, which “provides resources to the education community through licensing and then uses the returned income and research data to create a virtuous cycle.”

“Close to one-third of the research dollars that come in are related to the College of Education, and that’s a very big number,” Williams explained. “You typically wouldn’t see that at a lot of other institutions.”

One of these open-licensed resources includes the School-Wide Information System (SWIS), a computer application that 2,850 schools nationwide use to keep track of undesired behaviors and provides statistical data that allow teachers and school administrators to regularly keep track of how students are doing. It is one of the only databases that allows schools to identify children who are at major behavioral risk at an early stage and track how assistance is being provided to all students at any given school.

Rob Horner,@@[email protected]@ a special education professor and director of the Educational Community Supports research unit that oversees SWIS’s operation, said the copyright for the program belongs to the University and generates nearly $712,500 annually — money that is then reinvested at the discretion of the research team to improve the database.

“It’s the decades of research that have gone into early literacy instructional design and behavior support that set the foundation to create the databases,” Horner explained. “It is improving the quality of school not just in Oregon but throughout the United States.”

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