TAMPA, Fla. (April 21, 2017) – The University of
South Florida is ranked 19th in the nation out of 200 universities
analyzed by the prestigious Milken Institute in a new report examining how
institutions are faring in turning basic research into technologies, products
and companies – a process known as "technology transfer."
The report,"Concept to
Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer", underscores USF’s
rise as a leading national research university and a leader in generating new
United States patents, spinoff companies and commercialization agreements.
“This top 20 ranking reflects our
laser-focused strategy to create a meaningful impact on the future through
research, innovation and invention,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft.
“As Florida’s first emerging preeminent research university, we’ve created a
strong and vibrant research enterprise and an entrepreneurial culture, and
leveraged those attributes to strengthen our regional economy.”
USF’s new standing is a sharp improvement
from the first time it was ranked on these metrics by Milken at 74th
place in 2006. Since then, USF’s research grants and contracts funding rose
from $310 million to last year’s $458 million. The university has seen
substantial growth in key indicators, including executed commercialization
agreements rising from 21 to last year’s 133. USF also had 105 U.S. patents
granted in fiscal year 2016 and 90 in 2015, placing the institution in the top
10 nationally among public universities for the past six years in generating
new inventions. USF continues to generate startups with nine new
companies in 2016, and has facilitated the formation of 50 startup companies in
the last five years.
“South Florida stepped up its game in
research and commercialization,” the Milken report said.
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit,
nonpartisan think tank focused on increasing global prosperity by advancing
collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs, and improve
health and issues policy recommendations through data-driven research. The
report scored universities on their ability to generate new patents, enter into
licensing agreements, generate licensing income and create new startups.
University research and technology transfer helps the private sector provide
the competitive advantage to create jobs and wage growth, the report said.
“USF is known across the nation not just for
its high levels of research activity, but for its community of innovators and
inventors,” said Paul Sanberg, USF’s senior vice president for Research,
Innovation & Economic Development. “The tireless work of our faculty, staff
and students who are committed to improving the lives of others through new
technologies, medicines and products drives our upward trajectory.”
The Florida High Tech Corridor region, which
encompasses Tampa to Gainesville to Orlando, occupied three spots among
top-rated universities. The University of Florida ranked third and University
of Central Florida ranked 22nd.
The USF Innovation Enterprise, which
encompasses the university’s operations in patents and licensing,
commercialization, the USF Research Park and the Tampa Bay Technology
Incubator, generates an estimated $400 million in statewide impact each year,
sustains more than 3,000 jobs and produces about $52 million in tax revenues,
according to a recent analysis by the Washington Economics Group.
The University of South Florida, established
in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university
dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately
accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee.
Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6
billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top
30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to
the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated
USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s
12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.