WFU Ranks No. 2 for Return on Research-Related Investment

September 22, 2008

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – ranks Wake Forest University (WFU) No. 2 among the nation’s top patent-revenue-generating universities for return on research investment. The ranking is based on a 2006 survey of 189 schools by the Association of University Technology Managers, which tracks university-born patents and licensing revenues.

For 2006, Forbes said, Wake Forest had a 41 percent return (ROI) of about $61 million on research spending of about $146 million. Wake Forest’s ROI trailed only New York University and was ahead of such universities as the University of Minnesota, the University of Florida, Stanford, Northwestern and the University California system.

"Since 1985 our office has collaborated with talented scientists and researchers to develop and license Wake’s intellectual property,” said Michael Batalia, Ph.D., director of OTAM. “It’s really gratifying to be ranked with some of the preeminent academic institutions in the United States. We will strive to enhance our reputation in the years to come.”

From 2003 to 2007, the OTAM team had 233 invention disclosures, 81 patent applications filed, 37 patents issued and 47 new licenses and options. In those four years, licensing revenues have produced $235,374,586; revenues earned are reinvested into future research endeavors.

Several of the university's patents generated more than $1 million in licensing revenue in 2006. Examples of high revenue generating patents include the V.A.C. System, a mechanical vacuum technology that promotes wound healing, licensed to San Antonio-based Kinetic Technologies, and a virtual endoscopy machine licensed to GE Medical, a unit of General Electric.

Research development in the Triad has continued to grow since the early 1990s. More than 40 technology enterprises are now located at Piedmont Triad Research Park in downtown Winston-Salem.


Media Relations Contacts: Lisa Davanzo,, (336) 716-6906; Bonnie Davis, or Shannon Koontz,

About Piedmont Triad Research Park (
Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP) is a place where innovation lives. PTRP is a highly interactive, master-planned urban-based park located in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C., that provides office and laboratory facilities to biomedical and information technology tenants. Currently the PTRP community encompasses six buildings, providing over 554,000 square feet of wet lab, office, meeting and residential space, and is home to 15 life science, 11 information technology and eight business services tenants. Collectively these 35 tenants employ 890 university and corporate personnel. PTRP expansion, led by Wake Forest University Health Sciences, is under way to create a total 5.7 million gross square feet of mixed-use research park space, reclaiming 230 acres of the city's downtown area over the next 20-30 years.

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