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NU moves up ranks of world’s top 100 for U.S. patents

NUtech Ventures


Posted June 24, 2020 by Alyssa Amen

For the third consecutive year, the University of Nebraska system ranks among the top 100 academic institutions worldwide in earning U.S. patents.

A newly released report from the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association lists the NU system as tied at No. 65, moving up 14 spots from last year’s ranking. The ranking comprises patents granted in 2019 to NU’s technology transfer offices: NUtech Ventures at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and UNeMed Corp. at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska Omaha.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the NU system 44 U.S. patents in 2019. Husker researchers are named on 35 of those patents, including 11 shared with UNMC.

Earning patents allows NUtech Ventures and UNeMed to work with faculty, staff and students to bring research in areas that include biotechnology, agriculture, healthcare and engineering to the marketplace. The result is new startup companies, jobs and university-licensed products that aim to grow the economy and improve quality of life.

The report’s 2019 patents include alternative energy research from University of Nebraska–Lincoln engineers Wei Qiao and Liyan Qu. The duo has developed multiple technologies to monitor conditions on wind farms, as well as a device that converts power produced by renewable sources to a more useable form. Husker engineer Benjamin Terry is also represented among the patents with a device that attaches to the gastrointestinal tract and could be used for therapy or diagnosis.

By licensing patented technology to companies, NU’s institutions can identify pathways for continued research and development, along with opportunities to extend the impact of research innovation.

“Several of our 2019 issued patents are licensed to companies, including a Lincoln-based startup that is developing non-GMO technology to improve crop yields and stress tolerance,” said Brad Roth, president and executive director of NUtech Ventures. “It is an honor to be recognized among the world’s leading institutions for patenting university research, which ultimately helps our partner companies deliver products to improve the quality of life in Nebraska and beyond.”

“This ranking is confirmation of what I’ve known for a very long time — that Nebraska is home to a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said University of Nebraska–Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green. “It shows that our faculty rank among the best in the world at transferring their cutting-edge research and creative activity to the marketplace. Their continued dedication creates economic opportunities that benefit Nebraska and the world.”