OSU’s pricey research last in licensing income


Ohio State University remains last among the Big Ten schools in generating income from its research despite increased efforts to turn more university discoveries into marketable products and ideas.

In fiscal 2012, Ohio State spent $934 million on research — a 13 percent increase over 2011 and the fourth-largest amount among the dozen Big Ten universities. But the university again came in last place for licensing income with $2.2 million, according to an annual listing by the Association of Technology Managers.

OSU officials said they’ve been working hard at turning research into commercial products, but it takes time.

“When you have a breakthrough discovery it is something to be proud of, even if it doesn’t lead to a big financial reward immediately, which it almost never does,” said Timothy Wright, who is temporarily heading up Ohio State’s commercialization office.

For a fifth year, Northwestern University tops the Big Ten and all other colleges with more than $122 million from inventions. The University of Minnesota came in second at $45.7 million, followed by the University of Wisconsin at $41.1 million.

Among Ohio schools, Ohio University earned $9.4 million — more than four times as much as Ohio State. That’s despite OU spending 28 times less on research than Ohio State.