UArizona Ranks Among Top Global Universities With Most 2020 Utility Patents

The University of Arizona ranks No. 28 among the top 100 worldwide universities with the most U.S. patents granted for inventions in 2020, according to a list released June 15 by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

The new ranking represents continued growth for UArizona. In 2020, a total of 81 patents were issued to UArizona and the Arizona Board of Regents for inventions developed at the university, 19 more than the previous year. In 2018, the university ranked No. 66, and in 2019 the ranking rose to No. 39.

“The university’s land-grant mission calls on us to apply what we discover through research to solve real-world problems,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “This is reflected in our strategic plan, our commitment to helping researchers and scientists commercialize their inventions, and in the number of those inventions that are issued patents. I am very gratified to see the University of Arizona continue to climb this list.”

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, an office dedicated to commercializing the inventions stemming from UArizona innovations.

“The growth in issued patents each year is a tangible indicator that our commercialization strategy is delivering licensable intellectual property,” said Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president for Tech Launch Arizona. “It’s the first step along the way to realizing our ultimate goal, which is getting those inventions into the hands of innovative companies and transformed into products like new therapeutics, medical devices and IT applications that improve lives and generate economic growth.”

“The university has demonstrated throughout its history our strength in discovery spanning the academic spectrum, from medicine to space sciences,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation. “When we patent inventions arising from our research, we take that essential next step in translating the knowledge developed here so it can impact the lives of people everywhere.”

The NAI uses data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and highlights the vital role patents play in university research and innovation.  

Published annually since 2013, the report ranks the top 100 universities named as first assignee on utility patents granted by the office during the 2020 calendar year.

“The institutions included in this year’s report are leading innovation worldwide through their encouragement of academic discovery and invention,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI. “We are proud to collaborate with the IPO for the ninth consecutive year to highlight universities that have made critical contributions to society.”  

There are 55 NAI member institutions represented this year in the Top 100. The IPO Top 300 Patent Owners List, published annually since 1985, ranks organizations worldwide that received the most U.S. utility patents during the previous calendar year.

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