Royalties from patents on commercialized inventions and products bring in thousands of dollars in income every year for Missouri S&T. During the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018, Missouri S&T brought in just over $530,000 in royalty income, and the cumulative royalty amount is expected to cross the $5 million mark in fiscal year 2019.
“These numbers are the result of the hard work and ingenuity of Missouri S&T faculty, post-doctoral scholars and graduate students,” says Keith Strassner, assistant vice-provost for business and technology development and director of the office of technology transfer and economic development (TTED). “Their inventions and the commercialization of their products will impact the campus and the global economy for many years to come.”
This year, faculty and students set a new record for invention disclosure by submitting 50 new disclosures. Invention disclosures are confidential documents submitted to the university when an invention may have commercial value or has the potential to be patented.
This year’s record places Missouri S&T in the top tier of peer schools for disclosures when normalized for research expenditures, Strassner says. Missouri S&T’s three-year average is 1.2 invention disclosures per $1 million in research expenditures. In comparison, Colorado School of Mines reports an average of 0.8 invention disclosures and Georgia Institute of Technology reports 0.4.
TTED also continues to work with private companies on sponsored research agreements that transfer university intellectual property rights directly to the corporate sponsor. In fiscal year 2018, S&T staff entered into four such agreements with a value of just over $310,000. Since a policy change in 2013, the university has entered into 32 corporate sponsored research agreements with a value of $3.4 million.
S&T also launched the Technology Acceleration Grant (TAG) program this year and awarded three grants of $25,000 each to faculty inventors to help them move their technology out of the labs and into the marketplace. These grants provide seed money to help faculty further research the viability of their technology or build prototypes. The program is supported exclusively through TTED’s portion of royalty income.
TTED serves as a hub for technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, business development and economic development at Missouri S&T. Its mission is to grow Missouri’s economy by advancing technology commercialization, encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting business opportunities. Additional information about TTED can be found online at ecodevo.mst.edu.