Special Report: 40th Anniversary of Bayh-Dole

The Impact of Bayh-Dole: UIC sees record numbers of royalty revenue and patents

The University of Illinois at Chicago once again saw record numbers of royalty revenue and patents last year, according to the Office of Technology Management (OTM) FY20 Impact Report which shows the commercial impact of the UIC research community.

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 transformed the way that small businesses, non-profit organizations, and universities develop and commercialize new technologies that emanate from federally funded research.  December 12 marks the 40th anniversary of the Act becoming Public Law 96-517, the Patent and Trademark Act Amendments of 1980 which allows retention of title to inventions made under federally funded research programs.  Senators Birch Bayh (D-IN) and Robert Dole (R-KS) co-sponsored the legislation.  The Act is “perhaps the most inspired piece of legislation to be enacted in America over the past half-century,” according to The Economist.

UIC was already ranked 23rd among the 186 top research universities that report annually to AUTM in 2018 for total licensing revenue.  With the increase in revenue generated in FY 2020, UIC is projected to now rank in the top 10 revenue generating universities with a royalty income of over $50 million.

In comparison with other top universities, UIC has consistently exceeded the national average by 1.8 times for the percentage of licensing income generated per research dollars expended over the past 5 years.  In FY 2020, it is anticipated that UIC will exceed the national average by 3.5 times for royalty when normalized against total research funding on campus; marking a new high point. This success builds on the continued growth and expansion of UIC’s innovation and commercialization portfolio despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Illinois established a centralized office to manage patents and IP with small offices on the UIUC and UIC campuses.  UIC’s office was established in 1982 with the merger of the campuses of the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and Medical Center.

UIC’s office was named the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and UIUC’s was named the Research and Technology Management Office (RTMO).  IPO initially operated under a partnership with Research Corporation Technologies (RCT), which provided disclosure screening, evaluation, and follow-on tech transfer and commercialization support.  The campuses began local control of tech transfer matters in 1991 and additional staff were hired.  IPO was located in the Administrative Office Building with the Vice Chancellor for Research.  What is now known as OTM was created in 2001 and additional staff were again hired.  The office was relocated to CMWT in 2007 and has been there ever since.

Invention Disclosures, Licenses and Staff Growth (1980-2020)

Invention Disclosures, Licenses and Staff Growth (1980-2020)

Looking back at the record of invention disclosures, licenses and the growth of the staff, the positive impact of the Bayh-Dole Act and the impact on society is clearly seen. Numerous products have been commercialized based on research at UIC and highlighted in the timeline below.

UIC royalty revenues are reinvested into the university’s research portfolio where they are used to fund initiatives such as the UIC Innovation Fund, which supports commercialization through programs such as the Chancellor’s Translational Research Initiative (CTRI) and the Proof-of-Concept (POC) Awards Program. To date, CTRI and POC have awarded over $5 million in funding to advance UIC innovations and helping researchers prove the viability of their ideas and commercialize new technologies.

“This record high in royalty revenue shows that our research is turning into products with great value, and that value emphasizes that the work we do at UIC has tremendous impact on people here in Chicago and around the world,” said UIC Vice Chancellor for Innovation TJ Augustine.

The OTM continues its mission of supporting technology commercialization by working closely with UIC researchers to protect their ideas, negotiate licenses, and provide education opportunities on the commercialization process.

“This is remarkable given the current climate. Our success is [faculty] success. We could not do our jobs without [faculty] leadership in conducting the excellent research that we have at UIC,” said UIC OTM Director Suseelan Pookote.

To learn more about UIC’s commercial impact, please see the latest OTM Impact Report.

Timeline of UIC Commercialization Efforts since Inception of Bayh Dole

Timeline of UIC Commercialization Efforts since Inception of Bayh Dole




UIC Innovation Fund

The UIC Innovation Fund supports the commercialization of technologies developed by faculty, staff and students at UIC. The fund supports programs that help UIC technologies reach important milestones that are critical to commercialization. The fund is managed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation in partnership with the Office of Technology Management.

Office of Technology Management

The UIC Office of Technology Management works with faculty, staff, and students to advance research, education, and economic development through technology transfer, the process of moving scientific discoveries from the lab to the marketplace.   OTM would like to thank David Gulley as he was also instrumental and provided much of the historical information.