TUCSON, Ariz. – 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(link is external) released by the National Academy of Inventors. This represents a 27-spot increase over the previous year's ranking.
UArizona ranks No. 34 among U.S. universities and No. 18 among public U.S. institutions.
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 University of Arizona 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, the office of the university dedicated to commercializing the inventions stemming from UArizona innovations.
"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, 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.
"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 NAI 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.