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24 October 2017

Michigan hatches 12 spinouts

University of Michigan’s tech transfer office generated revenues of $14.6m and obtained 172 patents during the 2016-2017 financial year.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

University of Michigan (UM) generated 12 spinouts and issued 173 licences or options during the financial year ending in July 2017, an identical number to that disclosed one year earlier.

The institution’s tech transfer office, U-M Tech Transfer, secured 172 US patents, up from 135 patents in 2015-2016, but licensing revenues fell by 36.5% to $14.6m.

The university reported 444 invention disclosures over the period compared with 428 filed in 2015-2016.

Three spinouts that launched over the past financial year were identified as:

  • Ripple Science, an organisational platform co-founded by Nestor Lopez-Duran, associate professor of clinical psychology at UM, who had sought a more effective approach to organising and recording participatory research.
  • Neurable, which is developing a brainwave-operated control for uses such as virtual reality headsets or wheelchairs. The spinout was co-founded by Ramses Alcaide, who received a PhD in neuroscience from UM in January 2017.
  • Brio Device, a spinout co-founded by Hannah Hensel, a fellow of the university’s Medical Innovation Centre, that is looking at developing medical devices to assist with the insertion of airway breathing tubes.

Rick Brandon, interim director of U-M Tech Transfer, said: “There is a growing appreciation that we are doing work here that is not only critical to the university’s mission, but vital to Michigan’s economy and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“And I think that we now have a number of infrastructure pieces working in the same direction to make that happen.”

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