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University Tech Transfer Scorecard

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s University Tech Transfer Scorecard provides a series of metrics which rank University success in commercialization. The Scorecard is constructed with data from the five most recent surveys of the Association of University Technical Managers ( and contains scores for only those schools that reported in four of the last five years. The Chronicle presently ranks respondents among the 117 reporting universities. Indicators offered in the report include: number of startup companies formed per $10 million spending on research; licensing income per dollar of research spending; and number of inventions disclosed per $1 million spending on research, among others. The latest report can be found at

New Firm Starts

The number of new firms started in a given year is a useful proxy for assessing idea development and testing. Entrepreneurs need to raise money to move an idea to market, and that usually requires starting a business. Data on new firm starts can be found at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy website ( is available at the national, state, and MSA levels. Users may also want to purchase data from business intelligence firms such as Dun & Bradstreet, Hoover’s, and InfoUSA. Data from those firms is primarily used for marketing purposes, but is helpful if users are interested in specific information such as company names, addresses, and revenues.

Small Business Innovation Research Grants

The U.S. Government issues Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to small companies to encourage development of new technologies. The Office of Technology of the Small Business Administration maintains information on SBIR grants. Data is available for number and value of awards at the state level. Phase I and II awards can be aggregated for easier comparisons. The SBA website also publishes locations for grant recipients, which can be aggregated for looking at MSAs. However, 1998 is the latest year available, and the SBA no longer updates the information on its website. Users should contact their local SBA offices for updated data on grant recipients. Local offices can be found using the map on the SBA website ( SBIR data can be normalized per 10,000 employees for comparison to other regions. Data can be found at

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants

The U.S. Government also issues STTR grants to cooperative research projects involving a small business and a research institution, such as a university or a non-profit research group. STTR grants were developed as a vehicle for moving ideas from research institutions to market. Data availability is similar to SBIR grant data, and can be found on the same page of the SBA website (

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