Searching for innovation: developing university technology transfer

The report evaluates the universities that have achieved the most in the formation of new knowledge; Included in STEM graduates; Moving to new and existing institutions. Research and discovery are primary goals of universities, but they must be absorbed and integrated into private industry to achieve an economic return on investment.

For formal marketing and technology transfer of intellectual property, metrics include:

  • Disclosure of the invention
  • Number of licenses and options
  • Generate income from licenses and start-ups
  • Quotations from university articles contained in patents granted to companies

Ross DevolHeartland Forward, President and CEO, said: “The graduation ceremony at US universities is the single largest annual transfer of technology. While all forms of undergraduate education are valuable, this assessment includes the number and percentage of STEM graduates with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the total score. Some of the top performing research universities are from among elite institutions in the United States, and we are proud to release this list, which comprehensively tracks how our American universities are doing in this important work. We believe that states, cities, and rural areas can be more effective partnering with universities in their pursuit of prosperity. This approach, if Correctly directed, to create jobs with the top 5% of incomes, as well as a variety of middle-income jobs, and to be the inclusive definition of the American Dream.”

Marian FeldmanHeninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at University of North Carolina She said: “This report takes an in-depth look at the transportation activities of universities across United State It provides data, ideas, and recommendations that will help schools increase their impact on the communities they serve. We hope that using this data more universities will invest in tools to expand critical technology transfer activities and that policymakers will also rise to the occasion in encouraging and supporting these investments.”

University of Minnesota Interim Vice President of Research Michael Oakes She said: “The University of Minnesota Proud to be recognized by Heartland Forward as the highest ranked University of Heartland and fifth among public universities nationwide. We are home to innovative researchers in many key areas – from medicine to materials science to horticulture to education – and have purposely worked to build an equally innovative technology marketing team and corporate engagement center to grow entrepreneurship within and simplify collaboration with outside companies. In conjunction with this version of this report, and consistent with its findings, we recently achieved a major milestone with the launch of 200y A startup company since 2006. In the past decade, we’ve also listened to our students and employers in our area, and expanded our many STEM offerings. It all lives up to our motto, Driven to Discover, and our commitment to research that makes a real impact.”

The report was officially revealed during the discussion session entitled: The opportunity of a lifetime: seize the opportunity to modernize education and train the workforce. The speakers are: Ross DevolPresident and CEO of Heartland Forward; Marian FeldmanHeninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at University of North Carolina; Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart, Inc. , the president of the Walmart Corporation; Noah MeyerHead of Philanthropy and Social Impact at BDT & Company; Michael OakesVice President of Research at University of Minnesota; Elisa Villanueva BirdCEO of Teach for America.

What can universities do to improve it
Within the academy, more emphasis is needed on patent granting, licensing, and startup activity, and these factors need to be weighted more heavily in promotion and faculty recruitment decisions. Doing so will reassure young researchers that their university enthusiastically supports technology transfer and entrepreneurial activities and will push many in the direction of working collaboratively with companies. Universities that have achieved significant financial success in startups or royalties from licenses emphasize the value and potential of technology transfer, and contribute additional resources to support the process.

Public Policy Suggestions
Heartland states must consider several factors to enhance performance.

  1. Governors and legislatures should consider providing direct funding to TTOs as an economic development initiative.
  2. Heartland elected officials should advocate commercialization and technology transfer to be stated goals in universities’ mission statements.
  3. Country leaders should advocate for a consortium of universities formed across the states of the heart to share and implement best practices in marketing.
  4. The pooling of invention disclosures and patents across state borders is worth investigating. Providing Alumni Foundation investments in venture capital funds pooled across multiple countries would reduce the risk of these investments and potentially catalyze greater success.

About Heartland Forward
Heartland Forward is a nonpartisan, 501c3 organization whose mission is to improve economic performance in central United State By advocating for fact-based solutions to promote job creation, knowledge-based and inclusive growth and improved health outcomes. Heartland Forward conducts independent, data-driven research and programs to facilitate action-oriented discussion and impactful policy recommendations. To learn more, visit

Contact: Erica Tannour, [email protected] 917-626-2487

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