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UArizona Climbs to 39th in Top 100 Universities Worldwide with U.S. Utility Patents

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The University of Arizona ranks No. 39 among the top 100 worldwide universities with the most U.S. patents granted for inventions in 2019, according to a list (PDF) released by the National Academy of Inventors. This represents a 27-spot increase over the university’s previous year’s ranking.

UArizona ranks No. 34 among U.S. universities and No. 18 among public U.S. institutions.

A researcher at the University of Arizona works on an equation (Photo: University of Arizona)

The National Academy of Inventors – a member organization composed of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutes – has more than 4,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide.

“As a highly interdisciplinary land-grant institution, the University of Arizona has a long tradition of innovation and applying research to solve real-world problems,” said UArizona President Robert C. Robbins.

“While you can see that happening in real time with our all-hands-on-deck response to the COVID-19 crisis, this kind of translational work is making an impact all across our academic landscape in every field, from life sciences to optics to materials to chemical engineering and beyond. I am incredibly proud to see the breadth of our researchers’ real-world solutions reflected in this ranking.”

Now in its eighth year after reinvigorating its technology commercialization operation, the University of Arizona continues to establish itself as a leader in the translation of research and innovation into the public sphere.

Along with its ongoing commitment to world-class research, the university amplified its commitment to technology commercialization in 2012 with the creation of Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the office of the university dedicated to commercializing the inventions stemming from UArizona innovations.

Cover of 2019-20 rankings for “Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents” – click to view (Image: Courtesy of National Academy of Inventors)“This acknowledgement is yet another validation that we’re on the right track with facilitating the entire innovation continuum, from identifying problems to developing inventive solutions to translating those inventions out into the marketplace where they can contribute to a better world,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, PhD, UArizona senior vice president for research and innovation.

With a dedicated team supplemented by an extensive nationwide network of technology experts, entrepreneurs and investors, TLA works with inventors from every field across the university to help them define and refine inventions, develop intellectual property, and license those inventions to existing companies and budding startups.

From its founding in 2012 through fiscal year 2019, TLA helped the UArizona community report more than 1,600 inventions, file more than 1,800 patents, execute upward of 600 licenses for UArizona inventions and launch 82 startups. A large chunk of those are by and with investigators from the UArizona Health Sciences colleges, centers and institutes.

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved. Getting patents issued is a marker, but it’s not the end game. The goal is to get that intellectual property licensed so that it can become products, such as therapeutics, devices, software and more – all that improves lives,” said Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president of TLA.

The National Academy of Inventors has honored many UArizona innovators in recent years. To date, nine faculty members have been recognized as fellows, the most prestigious designation granted by the organization. Six others have been honored with the Senior Member designation, recognizing their accomplishments and contributions as researchers, inventors and educators.

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A version of this story appeared originally on the UANews website.

NOTE: Photos available upon request.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

About the University of Arizona
The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For more information: arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

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