University of Michigan reports 16 startups, 433 new inventions

Burton Tower at University of Michigan. (Scott C.Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan generated 16 new startup companies and 433 new inventions during fiscal year 2021-22, which ended June 30, according to a new report.

U-M’s Innovation Partnerships reported the new activity, which ranges from internet interfaces designed for the visually impaired to genetic data accessibility.

In total, U-M startups raised $760 million, 409 U.S. patent applications were filed, 143 patents were issued and more than $20 million in licensing revenue was generated.

One startup to raise more than $20 million in Series B financing was Genomenon, which uses artificial intelligence to organize genomic data. According to the company, the funds will be used to further develop its genomic data hub and grow its commercial operations.

Startup NewHaptics’ patented technology was dubbed the “Holy Braille Project” for its work in designing a tactile display for the visually impaired to surf the web.

“Thanks to our strong partnerships with U-M’s amazing community of innovators, we can report a successful fiscal year with a strong showing in commercialization agreements, invention disclosures, new startup company formation and industry collaboration,” associate vice president for research and innovation partnerships Kelly Sexton said in a statement.

“I’m proud of the U-M research ecosystem for continuing to provide us with such amazing innovations to foster. And with the creation of our new Corporate Research Alliances team, we are positioned to provide even better service to U-M faculty in the years to come.”

New this year, the faculty service unit Corporate Research Alliances generated $37.4 million across 94 new corporate-sponsored research awards. Established to help university researchers create industry partnerships, the unit also manages corporate research collaborations with industry leaders such as the Toyota Research Institute, Ford and Great Lakes Discovery.

According to a release, the following startups received investments in FY ‘22 through Innovation Partnerships’ Accelerate Blue Fund:

  • Ecovia Renewables, which provides water-soluble polymer solutions for personal care, agriculture and industrial applications.
  • MountainPass, a faculty position management software.
  • Cubeworks, offering a temperature and geolocation real-time monitoring hardware and SAAS solution for pharma cold tracking.

“Our research community continues to generate and implement innovative products and solutions that transform, improve and enhance the world around us,” vice president for research Rebecca Cunningham said in a statement.

“The U-M research community has really cultivated an ecosystem for innovation, and because of this, U-M is consistently recognized nationally for its technology commercialization efforts. With the leadership, support and expertise of our Innovation Partnerships team, we are better positioned than ever before to ensure that every U-M innovation has a chance to positively impact the world.”

Read the full Innovation Partnerships Impact Report 2022.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.