By Bill Brizzard, executive director, Indiana University Innovation and Commercialization Office
Indiana University mourns the passing of former U.S. senator and IU alumnus Birch Bayh. Among Sen. Bayh’s many achievements was his co-sponsorship of the Bayh-Dole Act with Sen. Bob Dole. Enacted in 1980, the Bayh-Dole Act allows universities, nonprofits and small businesses to elect to pursue ownership of inventions that result from federally funded research.
Following the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, research universities throughout the United States created technology transfer offices to manage and commercialize inventions. Technology transfer offices file and prosecute patent applications, seek out and license patent rights to commercial partners, and assist with the formation of startup companies based on university inventions.
Technology commercialization at IU is managed by its Innovation and Commercialization Office, which is under the Office of the Vice President for Research. The ICO has 18 full-time staff, with offices located in Indianapolis and Bloomington. IU is a longtime leader in technology transfer activities and has contributed to the disclosure of more than 2,900 inventions by IU researchers over the last 20 years. Additionally, IU’s support has led to the filing of more than 4,300 global patent applications and the issuing of nearly 1,100 global patents over the last two decades.
Since 1986, federal funding at IU has resulted in more than 1,500 inventions, 1,800 patent applications and 250 license agreements. Moreover, IU has launched 42 startup companies from federally funded research. These accomplishments resulted directly from the Bayh-Dole Act and serve to demonstrate its significance to Indiana and the nation.
[Editor’s Note: A news release from Indiana University Communications further details Birch Bayh’s life, his connections to the university and his many career accomplishments.]