FACT SHEET: The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office

Published: April 25, 2012

The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office, or TTO, pursues, protects, packages and licenses to business the intellectual property generated from research at CU. The TTO provides assistance to faculty, staff and students, as well as to businesses looking to license or invest in CU technology.

In the last two decades, inventions by CU researchers have led to the formation of 114 new companies. Of these, 85 have operations in Colorado, seven have become publicly traded companies through initial public offerings or reverse mergers and 17 have been acquired by public companies. Companies created based on CU technologies have attracted more than $5.6 billion in financing in the past 20 years.

There were 148 new CU inventions in fiscal year 2011 in the biosciences, including therapeutics and drug targets, medical devices, diagnostics, research tools for health information technology and biomaterials. There were 102 new CU inventions in the physical sciences and engineering, including chemicals and materials, energy and clean technology, electronics and optics, software and mechanical devices.

In fiscal year 2011, 253 patent applications were filed with CU’s TTO and 37 exclusive options and licenses -- the office’s primary transactional focus -- were issued.

Eleven companies were created during fiscal year 2011 based on CU intellectual property, two more than the previous year. Eight of the 11 are bio-related and three are related to clean-tech.

CU’s technology transfer process yields significant economic benefits for the inventor, his or her laboratory, department and campus, the university and the broader community. Of the net receipts from the commercialization of any CU discovery, the TTO distributes 25 percent to the discoverer or discoverers, 25 percent to a CU campus account to support that research, 25 percent for an account to benefit CU and 25 percent to the campus chancellor to be directed to campus research with technology transfer potential.

Roughly 5 to 10 percent of all inventions meet the criteria necessary to become startup companies. At CU, this translates from five to 10 startups annually, depending on the number of invention disclosures the TTO receives in any given year.

CU startup companies include Myogen, a Colorado-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing drugs for the treatment of heart failure and related cardiovascular complications; SomaLogic, a Boulder company developing a highly specific and sensitive tool for measuring and identifying proteins as keys to early diagnosis of human disease; and OPX Biotechnologies, a company making renewable, bio-based chemicals and fuels that are lower cost, higher return and more sustaining than petroleum-based products.

For more information contact Jim Scott in the CU-Boulder office of media relations and news services at 303-492-3114 or visit http://www.cu.edu/techtransfer.