VPR Priya: "UMN Research Enterprise remains among the 'Billion Dollar Research Club'"

For the second year in a row, the University of Minnesota sustained more than $1 billion in competitively earned sponsored research awards. In addition, the University ranks among the nation’s top 15 public universities in research expenditures

“The University of Minnesota’s research enterprise is unlike any other in the state,” Priya said before he addressed the University's Board of Regents on Thursday, December 15. “Our faculty and research teams do impressive and world-class work that makes the U of M one of the nation’s elite in many critical research measures, including how effectively our discoveries are brought directly to Minnesotans and people around the world.”

A new standard was set in FY2021, during which the University surpassed $1 billion in competitively earned sponsored research awards for the first time in its history. The FY2022 report shows the University once again exceeded that impressive mark. In his Board presentation, Priya also highlighted the record number of startups created (22) and patents issued by US and foreign authorities to University inventors (241) during FY2022, a year that also included the U of M spinning off its 200th company. The report highlighted the fact that UMN ranks in the top 25 in 12 different disciplines in the world rankings (ARWU/Shanghai), an indication of the high quality of scholarly activities conducted at the University, including in engineering, biotechnology and ecology, which are areas that align with recent federal initiatives related to semiconductor manufacturing, biomanufacturing and biotechnology, and global sustainability.

One of the five core commitments in MPact 2025, the University’s systemwide strategic plan, is focused on discovery, innovation, and impact. These results indicate continued strong progress toward that commitment and specific goals outlined in the plan, such as creating 25 startup companies annually by 2025. During his presentation, Priya also outlined new initiatives to further drive the growth and impact of the University’s research enterprise, including a national security research strategy, an International Institute for Biosensing, and a workshop to explore what research ideas will be important in the year 2030.

With two years of sponsored research awards over $1 billion, VP Priya also called for investment so that this new research plateau and future growth is matched with the high quality research infrastructure and services that University researchers are accustomed to.  

Though some of the statistics in Thursday’s report were released earlier this fall, Priya’s presentation provided the first public opportunity this year for the Board to discuss the continued success of the University’s research and technology commercialization enterprises, as well as strategies for maintaining and building on the U of M’s status as one of America’s leading research universities.

On the UMN Research Statistics page, you can find links to the video of VP Priya’s presentation, presentation slides, as well as the printed 2022 Annual Report, a Research At-A-Glance summary, Technology Commercialization Statistics, and the 2022 Annual Report on Technology Commercialization.