Performance metrics have long been a topic of hot debate among technology transfer professionals as TTOs try to find new and better ways to document their value. While TTOs still tally things like disclosures, patents and licenses, many offices are now going well beyond these traditional data points, in some cases utilizing more sophisticated approaches that aim to drive certain behaviors and ultimately capture the true contributions of a hard-working office.

…Other numbers that can give a more complete picture on start-ups include looking at how many of these companies have actually taken a product or service to market, notes Becky Stoughton,vice president at Fuentek. “Then track the sales and revenues at the company regardless of whether they come from licensed products or not,” she says. “Once you have started a company, yes, one of the benefits to the TTO is hopefully at some point you will recoup some licensing revenue or equity depending on how the deal was structured…. But if you are doing [the start-up] for economic development reasons, simply the fact that the company is on the market, is selling and is getting revenues are important things to track.”