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External Funding for U Research Reaches Record Level

University lab building and blue sky

Research at the University of Minnesota continues to flourish, drawing in a record level of externally sponsored research funding and maintaining the U’s position among the leading US public research institutions.

These are among the findings in the 2018 Annual Report on Research and Technology Commercialization, released today by the U’s Office of the Vice President for Research. The report details research metrics for the 2018 fiscal year, along with trends in research productivity, scholarship, and technology commercialization.

Here are five highlights from this year’s report:

1) U Received Highest Award Total to Date

The U successfully competed for a record $793 million in external research funding in fiscal 2018—the highest amount the institution has received so far, when excluding one-time awards from the federal economic stimulus package of 2009. The external research portfolio grew 6.5 percent over the previous year following an increase in federal and state research awards.

2) U Research Maintained Top 10 Ranking

The U maintained its ranking among the top 10 US public research universities, according to the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey of research expenditures. With $922 million in expenditures, the Twin Cities campus came in at ninth on the list. All UMN campus expenditures totaled $948 million.

3) Tech Transfer Continues to Bring Research beyond the Lab

The U has continued to transfer discoveries to licensee companies for the development of new products and services that benefit the public good, foster economic growth, and generate revenue to support the University’s mission. In fiscal 2018, U of M Technology Commercialization signed a record 230 new licensing deals and 86 new Minnesota Innovation Partnership (MN-IP) agreements.

Overall, the University now holds more than 900 issued patents and 1,800 active licenses.

4) Renewed Funding for Clinical Research Support

In fiscal 2018, the University was awarded one of its largest federal grants to date: $42.6 million in renewed funding for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which helps researchers and research professionals bring discoveries into clinical practice to improve human health. The five-year grant, from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, supplied $8.3 million to CTSI in fiscal 2018, with the remainder to follow in the next few years.

5) Research Continues to Have Statewide Impact

University research is hard at work across Minnesota. Here are a few examples:

  • At the Large Lakes Observatory at U of M Duluth, a team of researchers is studying the effects of invasive mussels on Great Lakes fisheries and water quality.
  • Researchers at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris are developing a system to create ammonia from water, air, and the energy generated by a wind turbine, creating a renewable energy source that is easier to transport than wind or solar energy.
  • new research space at U of M Crookston encourages new interdisciplinary collaborations, provides better access to shared equipment, and supports the much-needed laboratory space vital to faculty research. 

See the news release for more highlights from the U’s research enterprise or read the report.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a communications specialist with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

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