University of Pittsburgh
July 21, 2016

Pitt Innovation Institute Reports Record-High Results for Fiscal Year 2016


Joe Miksch


Cell: 412-997-0314

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute reported record-high numbers of invention disclosures filed and patents received by Pitt faculty, students, and staff, as well as record-high total license revenues received and startup companies formed from Pitt-developed innovations in the recently completed fiscal year 2016.

“As these results clearly demonstrate, the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is accelerating at Pitt,” said Innovation Institute Founding Director Marc Malandro. “Pitt innovators are making amazing discoveries in the laboratory and classroom every day. The Innovation Institute is honored to work alongside them as they translate those discoveries into products and services that improve and, in many instances, save people’s lives.”


Invention Disclosures

Patents Issued


License Revenue

Startup Companies

Fiscal 2011






Fiscal 2016












Malandro said that he is particularly encouraged at the increased number of Pitt startups. In the four years from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2012, there were 20 startup companies formed around Pitt discoveries. From fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2016, that number doubled to 40.

Among the companies formed in fiscal year 2016 are several based in Pittsburgh, including Ocugenix which has an exclusive option to license Pitt technology to treat glaucoma and macular degeneration; Interphase Materials which has developed antifouling compounds licensed from Pitt for preventing the collection of barnacles and mussels on boats, ships, and industrial water intake systems; and SkinJect, Inc., which licensed Pitt technology for treating skin cancer with microneedle patches.

Malandro credited the Innovation Institute’s enhanced programming around new venture creation, particularly the Pitt Ventures Gear Program, for the increase in Pitt spinouts in the past few years.

Through Pitt Ventures, University faculty, students, and staff work one-on-one with an entrepreneur-in-residence to conduct customer-discovery and value-proposition exercises that help determine the best path to market their innovation. Additionally, since Pitt is a National Science Foundation I-Corps program site, they receive early-stage seed funding to validate their ideas.

“The establishment in fiscal year 2016 of the Chancellor’s Innovation Commercialization Funds, which will provide $1 million in gap funding for promising Pitt innovations over two fiscal years, provides a significant boost to our commercialization efforts and will help us carry the positive momentum through the new fiscal year,” said Malandro.

About the Innovation Institute
To better serve the University of Pittsburgh’s expanding innovation ecosystem, the University launched the Innovation Institute in 2013 as a one-stop destination for both Pitt innovators who are interested in moving their discoveries from the lab to the marketplace and also external partners who can facilitate this process. The Innovation Institute provides a comprehensive suite of services, from protecting intellectual property to the commercialization of new discoveries through licensing and/or new enterprise development. The institute also provides a wealth of educational programming, mentoring, and networking for Pitt faculty, students, and partners, as well as a range of services to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout Western Pennsylvania in starting, growing, or transitioning their businesses. Learn more at