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63 BizEd November/ December 2014 IVARY/TH I N KSTOCK STARTUP ACTIVITY AND new technology patenting and licensing in the U.S. were particularly robust in the 2013 fiscal year, according to the annual "Licens- ing Activity Survey" from the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). Respondents to the survey, which included 202 U.S. academic and research institutions, reported 6,554 executed licenses and options and 719 new commercial products introduced last year, all up from FY2012. The Startups and Tech Licenses on the Rise sales revenue from these activities totaled US$22.8 bil- lion. In addition, technology transfer activity at univer- sities launched 818 new companies—16 percent more than in the previous year. While this growth is encouraging, it happened at a time when federal research dollars remained relatively flat. The report emphasizes that reductions in federal research funding could hamper the future growth of academic technology commercialization. "We need strong support for research funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation," says Jane Muir, president of AUTM and director of the Florida Innova- tion Hub at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "And we need Congress to maintain the strength of the U.S. patent system by avoiding roadblocks to pat- ent holders who need to enforce their patents against infringement." With federal dollars in question, many universities have turned to industry partnerships to support their tech commercialization efforts. In 2013, industry con- tributed $4.5 billion to technology transfer activity, up 11 percent over 2012. To view highlights or purchase the full report, visit 13872.htm. MANY COLLEGES AND uni- versities are eager to recruit international students, but often prospective students are unable to travel to campus for a visit before applying. A number of colleges and universities have at least partially solved this problem by using, a service that creates a virtual walking tour of college cam- puses and other destinations. virtual tours are currently offered through the company's website, but YouVisit hopes to perfect the use of Oculus Rift, a headset for 3D gamers developed by virtual reality tech- nology company Oculus VR. While wearing the headset, students will be able to virtually "step onto" a campus to walk around and experience it in three dimensions with- out having to schedule a trip. Audencia Nantes School of Management in France recently purchased an Oculus Rift Develop- ment Kit so that it can begin exper- imenting with the technology by taking headsets to student recruit- ment fairs. The school also created an online YouVisit virtual campus tour as part of its fall recruitment. U.S.-based was founded in 2009 by Abi Mandel- baum, Endri Tolka, and Taher Baderkhan, 2003 graduates of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. All three came to the U.S. as international students—Man- delbaum from Colombia, Tolka from Albania, and Baderkhan from Jordan. The entrepreneurs' goal is to help other international candidates experience campuses around the world before they send in their applications. Learn more at Schools Experiment with Virtual Tours A user demonstrates the use of an Oculus Rift headset to experience a 3D virtual campus tour.

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