Increase Licensing Volume

Increase the Licensing Volume of the Office of Technology Commercialization

Committee on Business Productivity Recommendation: Emphasize Volume Over Revenue

Reset UT’s commercial strategy to be one of maximizing dissemination of knowledge rather than maximizing revenue on a per-deal basis. UT should clarify the commercial objective of the Office of Technology Commercialization (“OTC”) and the University overall to drive relevant operational decisions. Metrics should be weighted toward deal execution (e.g., license volume, disclosures, deal time). More frequent use/reuse of standard terms and conditions, where appropriate (e.g. sponsored research, faculty-driven start-ups), will increase speed of process and reduce potential obstacles to engagement of industry through enhanced transparency.

Technology Commercialization Committee Response:

The Office of Technology Commercialization (“OTC”) has begun implementing the Committee on Business Productivity recommendation through a number of initiatives. These initiatives include revising and modifying its processes, systems, and procedures to increase deal volume without sacrificing the due diligence required to identify quality licensees. Thus, OTC has:

(1) created a non-licensing position dedicated to identifying strategic partners to sponsor research to further develop existing University intellectual property (IP) and license the improved IP; and

(2) modified assessment protocols so that licensing associates are evaluated based on metrics related to transaction volume and time spent working with faculty members and licensees as well as building new relationships and strengthening existing relationships.

Committee on Business Productivity Recommendation: Staff Up the Licensing Team

An increase in volume of licenses will necessitate a commensurate increase in associate or assistant licensing officers. This will allow for more time to be spent on increasing faculty disclosures and, importantly, industry engagement.

Technology Commercialization Committee Response:

The Office of Technology Commercialization has been reorganized to strengthen existing capabilities and add capacity. This reorganization has added two licensing associate positions to increase the capacity of the licensing team and reorganized the team to simultaneously minimize the administrative burdens placed on each licensing associate, leverage the individual licensing associate skill sets among the team members (and the support staff) to the fullest extent possible, and develop specialized skill sets while eliminating duplicate functions and capabilities.

Committee on Business Productivity Recommendation: Adjust the Split

UT Austin should consider re-allocating licensing revenue to incent relevant stakeholders. Revenue is typically split between the individual faculty member, the department or CSU, and UT. The Subcommittee feels licensing likely would increase if departments and colleges and schools were awarded a larger share than currently to incent relevant stakeholders. This will prove crucial to improving UT’s commercial culture and to incentivizing schools, departments and research units to encourage, recruit for, and invest in commercially relevant activity among faculty.

Technology Commercialization Committee Response:

In order to implement the recommendation, the University will seek approval from the University of Texas System to implement a flexible royalty distribution approach that brackets an inventor’s licensing royalty share between 30 percent and 50 percent. The Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Council will subsequently seek input from the Faculty Council, deans, department chairs, center directors, and individual faculty members when establishing a distribution approach that best serves institutional interests.