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U of M Remains among Top US Public Research Universities

U of M flag with dark red filter

The University of Minnesota continues to stand among the top public research universities in the US.

In a presentation before the U’s Board of Regents Mission Fulfillment Committee on Thursday morning, Vice President for Research Allen Levine detailed the U of M’s national standing and other highlights from the annual report on the Status of University Research & Commercialization of Intellectual Property. Included in the report are the U’s research metrics for the 2017 fiscal year, along with trends in research productivity, scholarship, and technology commercialization.

Here are five highlights from this year’s report:  

1) U Research Maintained Top 10 Ranking

The U maintained its ranking among the top 10 public research universities, according to the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development latest survey of research expenditures. The U held eighth in the list, with $910 million in research expenditures on the Twin Cities campus. The U had a total of $940 million in research expenditures across all of its campuses.

2) Industry-Sponsored Research Steadily Climbed

Sponsored research funding from business and industry partners rose steadily, now making up 11 percent of all external awards.

The numbers reflect the impact of strategies and programs the U has implemented to increase academic-industry partnerships, including MnDRIVE; Minnesota Innovation Partnerships (MN-IP); the Corporate Engagement Workgroup, which manages and coordinates relationships with companies across the University’s many colleges and units; and efforts to attract more clinical trials.

3) Technology Commercialization Efforts Continued to Thrive

A 2017 Milken Institute study named the U’s Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) among the top tech transfer enterprises at US universities. OTC ranked fourth among US technology transfer offices in executing license deals and sixth among US public tech transfer offices overall.

Meanwhile, OTC’s Venture Center launched a record 18 startups in fiscal 2017, and reached a total investment capital of nearly $400 million for the 119 companies spun off since the office formed in 2006.

4) MnDRIVE Program Grew to Include Cancer Network

The MnDRIVE program, which aligns areas of U research strength with the state’s key and emerging industries, continued to drive research forward. As one example, innovative deep brain stimulation techniques used by MnDRIVE Brain Conditions researchers set the stage for a $9 million National Institutes of Health grant to establish the Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research and for a new FDA-approved device to treat Parkinson’s.

The state recognized the success to-date of MnDRIVE efforts by funding a new MnDRIVE research area dedicated to establishing a statewide network of clinical trials for cancer therapies.

5) Advocated the Benefits, Importance of University Research

The University stepped up its advocacy for research funding from the federal government, and addressed the importance of federal reimbursement for research overhead costs.

Moving forward, the U and the higher ed community must continue to make a case for research before Congress, as well as the Minnesota Legislature, for public investment that supports the talented researchers and cutting-edge infrastructure needed to advance knowledge, foster discovery, and address our society’s greatest challenges.

See more U of M research statistics and read the latest Annual Report on Research.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a writer and public relations associate with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

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