UNM is ranked among best in the nation for technology transfer

May 10, 2017 - from STC.UNM

Milken Institute dot org

The Milken Institute has ranked the University of New Mexico (UNM) among the best in the nation for technology transfer. The Institute’s Center for Jobs and Human Capital issued its April 2017 report, “Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer,” ranking 225 U.S. universities and research institutions for technology transfer and commercialization success and best practices. UNM is ranked 28th—up from a 93rd position in the Institute’s original report published in 2006.1

The University Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index (Index) is based on data collected by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) via the AUTM’s Annual Licensing Activity Survey. Four-year averages (2012-15) for four key indicators of technology transfer success are included in the Index: patents issued, licenses issued, licensing income, and start-ups formed. These were normalized based on a four-year average of research dollars received by each university to yield four additional variables, for a total of eight measures.2

UNM is New Mexico’s flagship research institution, the largest post-secondary institution in the state in total enrollment across all campuses and one of the state's largest employers.3 The Milken Institute report notes:

“Research universities are one of the strongest assets America can use to compete in the age of innovation. Federal and other sources of public funding for university research should be viewed as an investment with a high rate of return. Research funding should be a top priority for enhancing American economic growth.” 2

“University research funding can support the creation of both middle- and high-skill industry jobs through innovation, commercialization, and technology transfer. As products and services are created and licensed, there are a myriad of multiplier impacts felt across the economy. Universities are a source of competitive advantage; they create a skilled workforce and through R&D and tech-transfer help create new technologies and new industries.” 2

In its exploration of best practices among the top performers, the report also states that “The dissemination of university-developed intellectual property (IP) occurs through a variety of complex channels. Most major U.S. research universities support a Technology Transfer Office (TTO) that actively seeks, registers, and patents IP, and manages the commercialization of their discoveries.” 2

As the technology transfer and economic development organization for UNM, STC.UNM protects and commercializes technologies developed at UNM by filing patents and copyrights and transferring the technologies to the marketplace. 

CHTM facility storefront

UNM’s Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) plays a vital role in UNM's research innovation. At the date of this article, 193 U.S. Patents have been awarded to CHTM faculty. CHTM patents account for approximately 35% of STC.UNM’s entire portfolio of U.S. patents (including patents awarded to the UNM Health Sciences Center). 38% of CHTM faculty patents have been licensed for commercialization.

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs, and improve health; through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings, and meaningful policy initiatives.

About The Center for Jobs and Human Capital

The Center for Jobs and Human Capital promotes prosperity and sustainable economic growth around the world by increasing the understanding of the dynamics that drive job creation and promote industry expansion. Their research develops innovative, implementable economic and policy solutions that provide stakeholders with the tools to create jobs and improve access to capital.


  1. Milken Institute ranks UNM among top universities for technology transfer, STC.UNM
  2. Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer,” Milken Institute’s Center for Jobs and Human Capital report, April 2017
  3. University of New Mexico on Wikipedia
Milken Institute report page 35

Look at UNM comfortably sandwiched between Harvard University and The University of Southern California. (page 35 of the report)