How the University of Arkansas' intellectual exports rank nationally
If the University of Arkansas was graded solely on its technology transfer, it would probably get "satisfactory" on its report card.
What's happening: Bentonville think tank Heartland Forward recently ranked 166 U.S. universities based on their ability to transfer technology developed on campus into the commercial world.
- U of A came in at No. 69, which is in the top half of the group, but not gold star worthy.
Yes, but: It ranked No. 8 with its peers grouped in terms of research spending.
- The university was grouped in the third-lowest category of research spending.
- Other universities with similar spending include Rice (No. 3); the University of Texas, Dallas (No. 5) and Oklahoma State (No. 10).
The big picture: New ideas from universities in the form of products, processes or technologies are often innovations for companies or entire industries.
- The ability to commercialize research inspires entrepreneurship and economic growth outside the university setting, but also often rewards the school through licensing fees and clout.
What they did: To create their University Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index, researchers analyzed invention disclosures, the number of — and options to — license, licensing income and startups formed from each university.
- The authors also considered citations of university articles in patents granted to firms to show the value of academic research in the private sector.
- They compared those metrics with each institution's research spending.
- All data in the report is based on the average values for each metric between 2017-2019.
What they found: The top five universities were Carnegie Mellon, the University of Florida, Columbia University, Stanford University and Harvard University.
- Of the top 25, only six are located in the heartland: the University of Minnesota (No. 10); Purdue (No. 11), Northwestern (No. 13), the University of Michigan (No. 16); the University of Texas, Austin (No. 20) and the University of Chicago (No. 24).
- Overall, 63 universities located in the 20 states in the middle of the U.S. made the list.
What they're saying: "Heartland elected officials should advocate for commercialization and tech transfer to be stated objectives in the mission statements of universities," Heartland CEO Ross DeVol wrote in a letter opening the report.
- "State leaders should advocate for a consortium of universities to be formed across heartland states to exchange and implement best practices in commercialization."
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