A recent report issued by the Intellectual Property Owners Association listed 14 universities, including 13 American universities plus China's Tsinghua University, among the top 300 organizations to receive patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2010.
While the great majority of organizations receiving patents in 2010 were corporations, among 14 universities making the list were the University of California system, with 349 patents awarded, and the University of South Florida, home to the National Academy of Inventors™ with 83. Other universities on the list were MIT (174), Stanford (155), University of Wisconsin (136), Caltech (134), University of Texas (122), Tsinghua University (104), University of Illinois (85), Columbia University (82), University of Michigan (78), Cornell (74), University of Pennsylvania (77), and University of Washington (74).
"The National Academy of Inventors congratulates all the universities on this list," said Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI and senior associate vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida. "Patented intellectual property originating at universities is playing an increasingly vital role in the global economy, in everything from job creation to raising the quality of health care."
While corporations may have more focused funding for research that can lead to patents, research dollars for academic efforts toward gaining patents are becoming more scarce, requiring greater efficiency.
"An important aspect for universities is to determine how efficient they are in translating their often quite diverse research portfolios to U.S. patents available for licensing and commercialization," said Dr. Howard J. Federoff, co-editor in chief of Technology and Innovation: Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors and executive vice president for health sciences at Georgetown University, a charter member institution of the NAI. "Lower expenditures indicate higher efficiency in translating research to intellectual property."
To help understand cost-effectiveness at the U.S. universities, the NAI analyzed the 13 American research universities by dividing their last reported federal and total research expenditures (per the National Science Foundation) by the listed number of patents to yield a general efficiency ranking of research expenditures per patent. In this analysis, Caltech, the University of South Florida and the University of Texas were the most efficient in research expenditures per patent, respectively, followed closely by MIT, Stanford, the University of Illinois, and WARF (University of Wisconsin), based on either federal or total research expenditures.
The NAI list is available on their website.
"Cost-effectiveness is an important and often overlooked issue," explained Sanberg. "Given the scarcity of research dollars and the hard work involved in the invention and patenting process, university-based researchers need to get the most 'bang' for their research 'bucks.' This is especially true as research universities get more involved with industry and economic development, and their budgets increasingly need to diversify research income."
The National Academy of Inventors™ recognizes and encourages academic inventors who have a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhances the visibility of university technology and academic innovation, encourages the disclosure of intellectual property, educates and mentors innovative students, and encourages the translation of the inventions of its members to benefit society. Member institutions include U.S. and international universities and non-profit research organizations. Email email@example.com
The editorial offices of Technology and Innovation are located at the University of South Florida, Office of Research and Innovation, 3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 175, Tampa, Florida, 33612. Tel: (813) 974-3181. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
News Release by Randolph Fillmore, Florida Science Communications, www.sciencescribe.net
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