On the basis of 5 years (2011–2015) of total gross licensing revenue reported by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), Nature Biotechnology selected the top performers among universities and collected detailed life science commercialization information for 2015; those results are found in Table 1, re-ranked by numbers of licenses and/or options executed. Results for biomedical research institutes are in Table 2. The names in this top group of schools have shifted over time, yet these metrics have been on a consistent upward trend, particularly so with startups: in 2013, the top schools collectively recorded 93 life science startups, compared to 182 in 2015. Life science revenue, licensing activity and startups account for the majority of overall totals for these schools (Fig. 1). New York University recorded the most in revenue, topping even the system-wide numbers of Texas and California (Fig. 2).

Table 1 US universitiesa ranked by licenses executed, together with licensing revenue, life science startups and National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards and funding in 2015
Table 2 US biomedical research institutes ranked by licenses and/or options executed, together with revenue, startups and NIH awards and funding in 2015
Figure 1: The life sciences accounted for the majority of incoming revenue, outgoing licenses and/or options and startup formation in 2015.
figure 1

Data from universities in Table 1. Source: AUTM, university technology transfer offices.

Figure 2: Life science licensing income earners, 2015.
figure 2

Source: AUTM, university technology transfer offices.