For the 11th consecutive year, the University of California is the leader among the nation's universities in developing new patents, according to a report announced last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The report presents a preliminary list of the U.S. universities receiving the most patents for invention (i.e., utility patents) during the 2004 calendar year.
Last year, UC recorded a total of 424 patents. The final list is expected in December 2005.
“Academic institutions are generators of discovery and innovation, and their patented inventions benefit all Americans through new jobs and new products that improve our lives daily,” said Jon Dudas, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In California, UC research and work force development has been crucial in the state's economic growth and global competitiveness, especially in the key industry clusters of biotechnology, telecommunications, information technology and electronics manufacturing. More than 300 R&D-intensive firms in California have been founded by UC scientists and engineers.
In biotech, one in three California R&D firms – and one in six publicly traded firms nationwide – was founded by UC scientists, and 85 percent employ UC alumni with graduate degrees. In communications, information technology and networking, one in six California R&D firms was founded by a UC scientist or engineer, and 57 percent employ UC alumni in key executive positions. More than 1,000 California R&D-intensive companies actively engage in research projects with UC scientists and students.
The 10-campus UC system is highly successful in transferring patented technologies to firms that commercialize them, developing new products and services with the potential to give a competitive market edge and lead to company growth and job creation. UC also fuels competitiveness by educating a continuous stream of next-generation innovators, entrepreneurs and highly skilled R&D workers. UC produces nearly seven percent of the nation's approximately 41,000 new Ph.D.s a year.
In FY 2003-04, nearly 1,200 new inventions were disclosed by UC faculty and researchers. Overall, the UC system's invention portfolio is comprised of more than 6,600 active inventions. Total licensing revenues, the income received from UC agreements with industry, was $93.2 million in FY 2003-04,a portion of which is re-invested back into research and education on UC campuses. Many of these cutting-edge R&D projects are in fields directly related to the knowledge industry clusters and thus amplify many of the productivity gains arising from UC research.
In the coming decade, UC research is also expected to continue to be a major source of productivity gains through California's R&D industries, adding $5.2 billion and more than 114,000 new jobs in California (2002-2011). Whether it is a new variety of strawberry or computer speech-recognition software, UC moves quickly to advance innovation and discovery from the laboratory to the marketplace and into our homes.