Ohio

Eye on Education

What Google and Viagra Have to Do With Funding Colleges and Universities

Research at American universities helped give us radar, the computer, jet propulsion and the atomic bomb, even Viagra and the algorithm for Google searches, according to the National Academies.

Falling federal and state funding and the dismantling of big corporate research labs mean that we’re less likely to see those kinds of useful — and highly profitable — inventions in the future, the National Academies say. So Ohio state officials are pushing colleges to do a better job of working with businesses to produce profitable research and replace public funding gaps.

But a new survey from Association of University Technology Managers shows that most Ohio colleges fall short on most measures of research commercialization compared to other colleges nationwide.

Case Western Reserve University brought in about $6.3 million from licensing its research last year, according to survey data published by Inside Higher Ed. Ohio State brought in about $1.4 million.

That puts the schools at 45 and 74 respectively of the 157 colleges and universities that responded to the survey.

The number-one school surveyed in terms of licensing income was Northwestern University, which earned $191.5 million last year.

And what about the big picture view on university licensing? Here’s what the Association of University Technology Managers says:

Despite continuing difficult economic conditions, university and research institute licensing and startup activity remained very strong. The number of licenses and options executed showed healthy increases over FY2010, as did the number of startups that remained active at the end of the fiscal year.  FY2011 also saw a modest increase in total research expenditures and another rise in  the number of issued patents on top of last year’s record numbers.

Here’s how the other Ohio schools that responded to the survey compare:

2011 Licensing Activity Survey Results – Ohio Institutions

Institution
Research Expenditures Patents Issued Startups Licensing Income Licensing Income Rank Startup Rank
Case Western Reserve U. $335,151,000 24 4 $6,303,230 45 50
Ohio State U. $823,125,558 30 6 $1,420,007 74 33
U. of Cincinnati $249,918,470 12 3 $431,104 107 67
Kent State U. $27,455,000 10 2 $360,037 110 92
U. of Akron $69,593,449 10 2 $278,648 118 91
Bowling Green State U. $8,021,973 5 0 $2,290 148 132

Source: Association of University Technology Managers via Inside Higher Ed

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