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Tech Launch Arizona report shows successful year, files 278 patent applications and 250 inventions

Selena Quintanilla

Tech Launch Arizona recently released their 2016 annual report showcasing their number of inventions, startups and proposals.

Tech Launch Arizona, UA’s hub for technology and invention commercialization, released its 2016 annual report reflecting on its successful year.

“Last year, we filed 278 patent applications and produced 250 inventions,” said David Allen, vice president of TLA. “Our revenue was a little over $2 million, which is slightly low, but it takes years before sales can be gained.”

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TLA ’s goal is to make the UA a recognized national resource for its role in commercializing UA-created knowledge, according to the TLA’s report.

“I am incredibly proud of the achievements that Tech Launch Arizona has had since its start in 2012,” wrote President Ann Weaver Hart in the report. “TLA is helping to set a strong foundation for the UA’s continuing impact and excellence.”

TLA is also a good way for students to get some experience with the business, according to Allen.

“Graduate students in particular are involved in research directed by the facility,” Allen said. “Students help with analyses and get involved in helping us market technology in other administrative roles.”

One of its key accomplishments, according to TLA’s report, is that it engaged 13 UA students and one high school student in real-world work on various initiatives.

If a student is interested in creating or inventing, the university cannot own that student’s intellectual property, according to Allen. But when employees in TLA come up with ideas for inventions, those ideas are owned by the UA.

“This year, 50 percent of our invention disclosures came from faculty we had not worked with before and 50 percent resulted from collaborations with previous inventors,” Allen wrote in the report. “We have a key Business Intelligence Unit that’s becoming a key contributing factor in assessing technologies and compiling useful market research.”

TLA had 142 invention disclosures and by 2016, that number has increased to 76 percent since 2012 according to the report.

Allen said the group hopes to increase its commercialization further. TLA recently partnered with TechCode to increase the effectiveness of its innovation and startups.

TechCode’s resources, especially its foundation in China, will help propel TLA global reach, according to the Tech Launch website.

Allen said TLA is always looking to strengthen the ecosystem it has created.

“There have been 14 companies that were started based on UA technology,” Allen said. “We are connecting people, resources and ideas to build a new kind of commercialization ecosystem.”

Tech Parks Arizona is a part of Tech Launch Arizona that serves as a research park to help commercialize technology and foster regional economic development.

“The UA Tech Park is home to more than 40 companies employing around 7,000 people,” Allen said. “Its activities drive more than $2 billion in economic impact for Pima County and generate an estimated $105.6 million in tax for state, county and city governments.”

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Tech Launch also has a consistent stream of events recognizing its achievements.

Paul Tumarkin, the senior manager of marketing and communications at TLA, said upcoming events will be posed on the TLA’s website and on the group’s newsletters.

“Our next event is going to be a ‘Made It Happen’ lunch where we’ll have a discussion about how Scholarship Universe was commercialized,” Tmarkin said.

One of Tech Launch’s main objectives for 2017 is to expand its growth and commercialization, according to the report.

“We hope to do this by continually adding value and dimensions to the UA with our commercialization,” Allen said. “So far, we have been successful.”

Follow Jessica Blackburn on Twitter.

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