Regents receive report on fiscal 2012 research, tech comm results

VP Tim Mulcahy

Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy delivered his last annual research report to the Board of Regents on Dec. 14, 2012. Mulcahy will retire Dec. 31 after seven years at the university in his current position.

Research statistics for fiscal 2012

University faculty and staff competed successfully for $749.1 million in sponsored research awards. The award total was down $20 million (2.6 percent) from the total for fiscal 2011.

  • If American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds are excluded from the award totals, awards were actually 7.4 percent higher in fiscal 2012 than the previous year.
  • As expected, awards from ARRA funds declined sharply, netting $2.5 million in  fiscal 2012 versus $74.2 million in fiscal 2011.

According to the National Science Foundation survey of R&D expenditure data for 2011 (the most current data available), the U of M retained its eighth-place ranking among public research universities. Research expenditures topped $847 million in 2011, up 8 percent from the high-water mark of $786 million set the previous year.

  • The U of M ranked sixth in research expenditure growth since 2005 among the top 20 universities and fourth among public research universities in terms of portfolio growth.
  • Research expenditures increased 59 percent from fiscal 2005 to fiscal 2011.

Technology commercialization results

The Office for Technology Commercialization continued its robust performance and productivity in fiscal 2012. A record 12 startup companies were launched, topping the previous record set last year when nine startups were launched.

With two exceptions, all key technology commercialization performance metrics showed improvement over the previous fiscal year. Even though patents on Ziagen in various markets continue to expire, worldwide sales were unexpectedly strong in fiscal 2012 and generated $35 million in royalties. Royalty revenue from other technologies equaled $10.7 million, for a grand total of $45.7 million.

Outreach to the business community

Mulcahy provided a recap of the resources that are provided by the Office of Business Relations to help businesses connect with the university’s talent, training and technology. These include a websiteBusiness @ the U of M blog, monthly e-newsletter, YouTube channel and Twitter feed. The office participates in numerous conferences and trade shows around the state, and requests for information can be sent directly to 612-626-3438 or

Mulcahy also discussed other corporate relations initiatives, regulatory reforms and advances during his tenure, the strategic role of the vice president for research, and the future research landscape.

Brian Herman assumes leadership of the university’s research enterprise on Jan. 1, 2013.

Photo by Andria Waclawksi
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