UMass climbs on worldwide list of universities granted patents

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Jumping 13 spots from its ranking in 2014, the University of Massachusetts ranked 30th worldwide in rankings released Tuesday of universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2015.

The 62 patents awarded to UMass last year represents a 55 percent increase over the 40 awarded in 2014 and is the highest number issued in a calendar year since UMass began its technology transfer program in 1995, according to Abigail Barrow, interim executive director of the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures. Patents were awarded based on research in areas such as gene silencing, high-technology textiles, polymers and nanotechnology.

According to the non-profit National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the top 10 ranked universities worldwide in 2015 are: the University of California System, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Texas, Tsinghua University (China), California Institute of Technology, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and University of Michigan.

UMass placed third in Massachusetts and New England and was tied for 24th place among American universities.

“Our faculty continues to shine with cutting-edge research and innovation that places us in the top tier of universities in the world,” UMass President Marty Meehan said in a statement. “They lead us to new frontiers of human understanding and their work opens the door to a more prosperous economic future.”

According to Barrow, UMass this year is on pace to match or exceed its record of 62 patents. The world rankings are based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

— Written by Michael P. Norton

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