U-M’s Kelly Sexton – Preserve Innovation at Michigan’s Research Universities

The Detroit News

by Kelly Sexton, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research, Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships,
University of Michigan

In 2020, the University of Michigan reported a record 268 licensing agreements and launched 31 startup businesses. Thanks to rights granted by the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, UM labs alone have generated more than 400 new inventions each of the last five years, and we are launching more than 20 startups per year that contribute to the economic growth of our region.

Michigan is not alone. The “virtuous cycle” of accelerated technology transfer — the process by which university research funded by the federal government can be licensed, refined and marketed by private businesses — has been the driver for a whole string of uniquely American tech successes, from quantum computing to cutting-edge medical treatments.

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