Montana State University

MSU makes BusinessWeek.com top 10 tech transfer list

October 18, 2007


MSU has been named to a BusinessWeek.com list of 10 schools with small budgets that are making their mark with technology transfer programs. MSU file photo.   High-Res Available

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Montana State University has been included in a BusinessWeek.com's article about 10 schools making their mark with innovative tech transfer programs.

The article, "Small Schools' Big Tech Dreams," is based on a report sponsored by the National Science Foundation highlighting a number of smaller university programs that are developing new technologies through academic research, licensing the inventions and helping launch businesses that use them.

Among the other universities that garnered a mention with MSU are: Alfred University, Brigham Young University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Iowa State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Springfield Technical Community College, University of Akron, University of Central Florida, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The report was prepared by Innovations Associates of Reston, Va. with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships to find institutions of higher learning "punching above their weight " in technology transfer. The schools were selected that from a list of institutions that fall below the top 50 when ranked by innovation and design budgets, and met several other criteria, such as a high ranking in some area of tech transfer--say, patents filed, licenses executed, or startups launched.

Becky Mahurin, director of MSU's Technology Transfer's Office, said she was particularly pleased that the report found that MSU consistently ranks in the top ten for licensing activity on a weighted basis for research funding.

"It's an honor for a school the size of MSU to be recognized for its tech transfer activities," Mahurin said. "It reflects the great work the researchers do. That work has commercial potential, and we have licensed and built companies around those technologies."

Examples of Bozeman-based companies now using MSU-licensed technologies include Ligocyte, Phillips Environmental and MPA (Multi-Photo Absorption technologies, which uses non-invasive cancer diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.)

Diane Palmintera, president of Innovation Associates and lead author of the study, said that schools such as MSU, which have fewer resources than schools such as Harvard and MIT, have to think creatively to contribute to the greater economic development of their state or region.

"Technology transfer, the process of turning scholarly work into a marketable and practical product or service, spans a broad range of possibilities," Palmintera said. "Innovation and new technology businesses can be based on advancement in different fields."

The report can be found at BusinessWeek.com's B-School (business school) section:
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/oct2007/bs20071016_313906.htm?chan=bschools_bschool index page_top stories. For more about MSU, click on the slideshow "10 Schools Making Their Mark in Tech Development."

Becky Mahurin (406) 994-7868, rmahurin@montana.edu