While basic research remains the foundation of the university’s research enterprise, NAU has increased recruitment of faculty whose research programs focus on the application of research-based discoveries. NAU Innovations, the university’s intellectual property management and technology transfer program, is keeping pace with this growth by providing resources and technical assistance to NAU researchers at all stages of intellectual property development and commercialization.
NAU’s targeted investments in research have positively impacted innovation on the university campus, resulting in significant increases in technology transfer accomplishments. In FY 2016, the univeristy recorded the highest number of invention disclosures transacted (50), U.S. patent applications filed (27), U.S. patents issued (6) and royalties distributed ($48,000) since the establishment of NAU’s technology transfer program. In addition, technology transfer activity facilitated more than $1.4 million in sponsored research.
The engagement of NAU faculty, staff, and students in technology transfer is increasing steadily. For example, the number of unique inventors in FY2013 was 34, while in FY2016 there were 60. The total number of inventors—counting every inventor listed on every invention disclosure—increased from 45 in FY2013 to 139 in FY2016. First-time inventors at NAU increased from 19 in FY2013 to 41 in FY2016. These numbers reflect increased levels of collaboration and interdisciplinarity in NAU research, resulting in more discovery and innovation, more invention disclosures, and more inventors.
Inventions disclosed in FY2016 addressed solutions for health and wellness, cybersecurity, energy, infectious diseases, medical devices, and smart materials, to name a few.