News: Press Releases

Researcher using a microscope
July 12, 2016

UMass sets record for patents awarded

  • The UMass System
Vaults ten spots in the world rankings

BOSTON – In the latest display of its R&D firepower, the University of Massachusetts vaulted to 30th globally in the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Patents in 2015 released today.

Winning a record 62 U.S. patents arising out of faculty inventions, 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,” President Marty Meehan said. “They lead us to new frontiers of human understanding and their work opens the door to a more prosperous economic future.”

“We’re proud of this accomplishment, because today’s patent is tomorrow’s job-creating startup technology company,” President Meehan added.

The patents awarded are based on UMass research in areas as diverse as gene silencing, high-technology textiles, polymers and nanotechnology, according to Abigail Barrow, interim executive director of the University's Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures.

The 62 patents represent a 55 percent increase over the 40 awarded to UMass in the previous year and is the highest number issued in a single calendar year since UMass began its technology transfer program in 1995, she added.  UMass is also a national leader among universities in licensing income earned on its patented inventions.

“Congratulations to the University of Massachusetts for making the Top 100 again this year and for an impressive increase,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the National Academy of Inventors, which produces the rankings along with the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

One of the UMass patents relates to Geckskin, a super-strong adhesive discovered at UMass Amherst that can be used multiple times without losing effectiveness.

This year’s top 10 ranked universities worldwide were: 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.

The Top 100 world rankings are calculated using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

UMass is on pace to match or modestly exceed its record 62 patents in the next report, Dr. Barrow said. “Our impressive patent numbers reflect the rapid growth and influence of UMass's research enterprise and the discovery going on at all of our campuses.”

UMass shares the No. 30 spot with the University of Utah Research Foundation and the Research Foundation of The State University of New York. 

The National Academy of Inventors is a non-profit organization of U.S. and international universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions with more than 3,000 members. The Intellectual Property Owners Association is a trade association of owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. This is the fourth year they have collaborated to issue the rankings report.


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Contact: Jan Brogan 781-467-9900