Campus Features

New Report highlights U of I spin-off companies

Allison Vance
10/30/2013  8:00 am

A new report, “Sparking Economic Growth 2.0: Companies Created from Federally Funded Research, Fueling American Innovation and Economic Growth,” highlights two spin-off companies founded at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The report was issued by The Science Coalition, a nonprofit group of leading public and private research universities, and illustrates one of several returns on investment in scientific research – the creation of new companies. It highlights 100 companies that trace their roots to federally funded university research and notes their role in creating innovations, jobs and economic growth.

Xerion Advanced Battery Corp, a battery design company, and Autonomic Materials, Inc., which produces "self-healing" materials, were both featured. Both were nurtured at Illinois.

The Urbana-Champaign university had more than $360 million in federal research expenditures in FY12 alone and is among the top institutions in NSF-funded R&D expenditures.

But federal funding for R&D has been on a downward trend for the past decade, with funding levels in 2013 at historic lows. Sequestration, which began in March 2013, is set to run through 2021 and will wring an additional $95 billion from federal research budgets over this period.

Peter Schiffer, the vice chancellor for research at Illinois, noted that the federal investment in university research is a foundation of American innovation.

"Our nation must continue to invest in basic research – it is an essential driver for both economic growth and for solving important societal problems, both at home and around the globe,” Schiffer said. "The start–up companies and new technologies that emerge from the process of discovery lead to new jobs and even entirely new industries."

View the full report here.

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