The University of Arkansas System tied for 48th among the world’s top 100 universities for the number of U.S. utility patents received in 2012.
UA System universities received 34 patents for inventions by researchers, according to the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, which compiled the list from data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The UA System was tied in the top 100 rankings with American universities Arizona State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University.
“I’m very proud of the faculty scientists across our institutions for conducting innovative research across a number of fields,” said Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the UA System. “Producing research to improve the human condition is a key component of the mission of our university, and this ranking shows that our scientists are taking that mission to heart.”
Among the UA System’s patents, 20 included inventors at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, nine included inventors at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, four included inventors at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and four included inventors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Two of the 34 patents included inventors from more than one UA System institution.
“Innovation based on university technology has proven to be a key factor in worldwide industrial and economic development,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the National Academy of Inventors, in a press release announcing the rankings. “In the 21st century, the support, encouragement and development of technology and innovation are fundamental to the success of a university.”
UAMS faculty members produced patents related to monitoring breast cancer treatment, controlling bone loss, performing an anastomosis and the assessment, prevention and therapy of cancer, among other areas.
“UAMS is very proud to have researchers and clinical care providers who produce innovative, cutting-edge technologies. UAMS patents form the basis for business opportunities to enhance the state’s economy and, more importantly, improve the health of Arkansans through development of new treatments and diagnostics,” said Lawrence Cornett, UAMS vice chancellor for research.
The Division of Agriculture earned patents in a variety of research programs by personnel in food science; biological and agricultural engineering; poultry science; crop, soil, and environmental sciences and the Rice Research and Extension Center.
“The technologies were equally varied, ranging from steak and chickens to corn and cranberry by-products and rice, new medical applications, food safety, and the clean water we need to survive,” said Mark Cochran, vice president for agriculture of the UA System. “Many of these technologies are already licensed and making a significant commercial impact.”
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, faculty members produced patents in nanocrystals, asynchronous circuit design and tactile aids for access to science and engineering software for visually impaired users. UA-Fayetteville became a charter member of the National Academy of Inventors in 2012.
“As a top-tier land-grant institution, UA-Fayetteville is committed to commercializing its research,” said Jim Rankin, vice provost for research and economic development. “This ranking reflects our advancement as a nationally and internationally influential research university.”
All four UALR patents were in the area of advanced materials, which show promise to greatly improve everyday materials and processes.
“We are very proud of our scientific researchers and their important discoveries. The increasing pace of our patenting activity reflects the vibrant research environment at UALR. And while advanced materials is not the only area in which we are making key scientific advances, this area represents a core strength of our campus and a key focus of our commercialization efforts,” said UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson.