USF 9th Worldwide Among Universities in U.S. Patents

The Intellectual Property Owners Association ranking puts USF in the elite entrepreneurial class.


By Vickie Chachere

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (June 21, 2011) – The University of South Florida has joined the elite of the world’s top innovators as one of 14 universities and university systems that rank in the top 300 organizations granted U.S. Patents last year, says a new report from the Intellectual Property Association.

USF ranked 9th among universities and 269th among the 300 top patenting organizations in 2010, according to the count compiled by the IPO. Last year, USF researchers and students were granted 83 patents. Thirteen American universities and university systems and one university in China comprised the collection of leading higher education innovators.

“The IPO’s count makes an important statement about the University of South Florida’s growth as a global research university and as a key economic driver for the Tampa Bay region and Florida,” said USF President Judy Genshaft.

“For a public research university, each patent represents the potential of a considerable return on investment in the creation of new products, new jobs and new industries. Each patent also represents the potential to improve health care, lives and our economy. This new report reflects USF’s unwavering focus on ingenuity and entrepreneurism as the path to a better future,” Genshaft said.

The complete ranking can be found here. The analysis of university standings was completed by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Patents obtained on new inventions at USF are shared by both the university and the researchers.

USF has placed a major focus on patenting as the university’s research capabilities have grown. The university’s Division of Patents and Licensing works with researchers and students in every college to ready new inventions for the patenting process and potential licensing opportunities. The Division’s work allows for a sustained focus on transferring cutting-edge research and innovation to the commercial marketplace, generating revenue and diversifying the economy.

USF has been successful in patenting in a wide-range of new technologies, from high-profile drug discoveries such as the anti-depressant TC5214 now in clinical trials with Targacept and AstraZeneca; the development of new stem cell therapies; to a dance chair that allows people with disabilities to move more freely; and underwater laboratory equipment which can operate autonomously in the oceans’ depths. Recently, new U.S. patents have been awarded to USF and its researchers in fuel cell technologies, air purification systems and even an amusement park ride.

USF is also home to the National Academy of Inventors ™, a growing national organization that recognizes and encourages inventors who have a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Academy raises the visibility of university technology and academic inventors, encouraging and mentoring innovative researchers and students.

"The National Academy of Inventors congratulates all the universities on this list," said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI and USF’s Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation.

"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."

The IPO report noted that while the great majority of organizations receiving patents in 2010 were corporations, USF’s top standing puts it in the company of such academic research powerhouses as the University of California system, MIT and Stanford.

Vickie Chachere can be reached at 813-974-6251.