Coming to a store near you: research.

The University announced Monday the Office of Technology Transfer had a record-breaking fiscal year 2014, reporting a considerable increase in the number of new inventions, agreements and startups launched based on research conducted at the University, including 439 new inventions, 148 option and license agreements and 14 startups.

The office serves as the University’s primary unit for facilitating movement of research technologies to the market, “as to generate benefits for the University, the community and the general public,” according to their mission statement.

Ken Nisbet, associate vice president for research-technology transfer at the University, attributed the success of the office’s performance this past year to the ingenuity of the tech transfer team, the quality of research being done at the University and the resources and support provided by the University and community.

“The record number of new inventions is a reflection of the level of engagement our researchers are having,” Nisbet said. “Because of their creativity, we are seeing more of their work coming to us.”

University research discoveries are implemented around the world, Nisbet said, though tech transfer tries to boost the local economy by finding local businesses that can benefit from the inventions and creating startups that are — at least initially — located in Ann Arbor.

When looking to put their discoveries on the market, researchers first report their idea to tech transfer. The office gets more than 400 reports per year, Nisbet said. Specialists at tech transfer then work on assessing, technically and commercially, what would need to happen to make the discovery a viable and valuable market item. They work with the researcher on either integrating the technology into an existing business, or creating a startup with the new technology at its core.

After initial success, the businesses and startups pay royalties to tech transfer and that money is reinvested into research at the University.

The record number of agreements reflects a growing interest in collaboration between businesses and the University, Nisbet said. For example, the Michigan-based engineering corporation Michigan Aerospace has licensed University technology through tech transfer that allows for better detection of ice and snow on aviation equipment.

University startups are created with the help of Tech Transfer’s Venture Center. A start-up located in Ann Arbor called AlertWatch, which allows physicians to see all their patient information in one centralized location, was created with guidance from the Venture Center.

“That’s the whole idea,” Nisbet said. “It’s to have the work of our research help the general public.”

Nisbet also spoke about the reputation of the University and the research being done here, tying the record-breaking success of Tech Transfer this year to the success of the University as a whole.

“The reason we have over $1.3 billion in research expenditures every year is because our researchers are of such high quality,” Nisbet said. “We’re viewed as one of the best research universities in the world.”

The University will recognize Tech Transfer’s endeavors at the 14th annual Celebrate Invention reception, which will be held in the Michigan League Ballroom Oct. 28.

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