The University of Houston’s innovative faculty have continued to be recognized for their inventions, having made the list to the Top 100 Global University Systems for U.S. Utility Patents again this year, ranked at 75.
In fiscal year 2019-2020, UH faculty patented 40 technologies, topping the number of patents issued from the previous year, a historical high for the University. But in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, 24 disclosures have been filed and 13 patents issued, setting UH up for a possible record year.
“There is a lot of intellectual activity at the University of Houston – these numbers don’t even begin to tell the story,” said Chris Taylor, executive director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation, who has restructured his office after taking on the role last spring to better support technology commercialization across the University.
“The UH faculty are intrinsically innovative. We have been focused on improving our processes and our outreach to help support faculty through this process,” he added.
Taylor’s main focus now is to educate more faculty about protecting, commercializing and licensing their technologies with the ultimate goal of driving more disclosures.
“You can’t get to the patents or the licensing income without this very important first step – and many faculty don’t know where to start,” he said. “We want to shift the thinking and culture around protecting faculty IP to be a "forethought" from the beginning of their projects rather than an "afterthought" when they believe they have created something innovative and worth protecting.”
Although his team is just kicking off their campus roadshow to engage faculty in the technology transfer process, Taylor said he is seeing good things.
“Most of our patents come from engineering, natural sciences and pharmacy, but we’re beginning to see disclosures from other colleges so we’re hoping to see some of these numbers start to skyrocket.”