Patents Pave Way for UCF Future
April 13, 2017
UCF’s first patent application was filed 30 years ago this month. Engineering professor Amar Mukherjee had developed a novel way to compress and decompress large amounts of stored digital data on computers. Today, digital data storage has all but moved to the cloud.
Since this first patent filing, UCF has accumulated 925 issued patents. The university has been recognized for its innovation with awards and national rankings when it comes to generating patents. But the institution has bigger ambitions and aspires to be a top-tier research university within the next decade.
“UCF has built a powerful foundation in innovation over the last 30 years and we expect to see even more discoveries become ever more impactful as we meet our strategic goals,” said Elizabeth A. Klonoff, vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
A new strategic plan adopted this year sets lofty goals for all areas within the university, including research. Among the goals is to double research funding to $240 million, execute 36 licenses and options for UCF intellectual property, and secure 200 patents over a three-year period.
The university already has a good start.
Growth in the areas of optics and photonics, engineering and biomedical sciences from 2007-2010 helped put UCF on the map. During that time the world’s largest professional organization for the advancement of technology, IEEE, and the Patent Board’s Patent Scorecard on four occasions ranked UCF in the top 10 in the nation for its patent strength. And in 2015, UCF ranked 19th in the nation among public universities and 41th in the world for issued U.S. patents by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
The rankings put UCF in the company of aspirational institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California and University of Texas systems.
The university has also created programs to help businesses launch such as the Business Incubation Program, the I-Corps entrepreneurial training program (sponsored by the National Science Foundation), the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and the Blackstone Launchpad.
With professors, students and research scientists working to solve some of society’s greatest problems, more discoveries and inventions will continue to be developed.
Some of UCF’s successful innovations over the past 30 years include:
- Hydrogen gas-detecting tape that was developed by a team at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center, commercialized by a researcher-led start-up company and ultimately acquired by the international manufacturer Nitto Denko.
- A chemical- and biological-detection and analysis system using nanotechnology. The researcher who developed the technology started a company, NanoDiscovery, to market it as a single-step system for early cancer detection.
- A mixed-reality teaching environment, TeachLIVE, with simulated students supporting teacher practices in classroom management, pedagogy and content that is being used by more than 85 school districts and international partners, and is being commercialized by Mursion Inc., a new university startup company.
By: Barbara Abney