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Arizona State University ranks high in national survey of inventions, patents and startups

AZ Inno

Arizona State University is one of the top research institutions for inventions, patenting activity and startups, according to a new national survey.

A report from the Association of University Technology Managers ranked ASU in the top five in all four of its categories: inventions disclosed, patent licenses and option deals closed, U.S. patents secured and startups launched.

The AUTM examined 2022 data reported by 180 U.S. universities and research institutions without medical schools. The only other institution to make the top five in each category was Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Arizona State, which has its main campus in Tempe, also earlier this year held on to its No. 1 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the nation’s most innovative colleges. This is the ninth-straight year ASU has held that ranking.

On the AUTM survey, ASU’s best ranking was second place for startups launched in fiscal 2022. That was the same rank the university held last year. The school established 21 startups during the time period examined.

ASU also ranked fourth in both the inventions disclosed and U.S. patents issued categories, with 305 invention disclosures and 167 U.S. patents issued during fiscal 2022. A disclosed invention is an innovation submitted by a researcher for potential commercialization, ASU said.

In the patent licensing and option deals category, ASU came in fifth, closing 75 such deals in 2022.

ASU officials said the rankings demonstrate the benefits of the school’s growing research efforts.

“As ASU’s research enterprise expands exponentially, so does our ability to generate real-world solutions,” said Sally Morton, executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise, in a statement. “We are not merely creating knowledge; we are successfully translating it into tangible advancements for the betterment of communities.”

The university’s technology transfer and intellectual property management is handled by Skysong Innovations, which negotiates licensing deals with commercial partners. ASU reported that Skysong has cumulatively secured over 1,550 U.S. patents for ASU, closed over 1,400 license or option deals and facilitated more than 230 ASU startups that have collectively attracted nearly $1.3 billion in external funding.

“As the ASU research enterprise has exponentially grown, so too has the university’s ability to generate real-world solutions for societal impact,” said Kyle Siegal, executive director and chief patent counsel for Skysong Innovations, in a statement.

ASU’s significance as a research institution received validation earlier this year when it joined the Association of American Universities. Membership is by invitation only and is based on quantitative indicators.

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