The University of Georgia once again ranks No. 1 among U.S. universities for number of commercial products to market based on its research, according to an annual survey conducted by AUTM. For eight straight years, UGA has placed in the top two and has never appeared out of the Top 5 in the 10 years the survey has been reported by AUTM.
Fiscal year 2022, on which the new AUTM report is based, saw 60 new products released based on UGA research, including new poultry vaccines, software, research tools and a medical device, as well as crop varieties such as peanut, pecan, soybean, wheat, blueberry, turfgrass and citrus.
“UGA’s consistently high ranking for new products based on university research developed by our industry partners is a testament to the creativity and tireless effort by our faculty and students and UGA’s robust industry partnerships,” said Derek Eberhart, associate vice president for research and executive director of Innovation Gateway, UGA’s technology transfer organization. “Reaching the No. 1 spot again shows UGA’s commitment to working with our industry collaborators to apply our research activities to address real-world needs.”
Formerly known as the Association of University Technology Managers, AUTM supports the development of academic research among universities and other research institutions. AUTM conducts an annual survey of intellectual property licensing and startup activities, and then turns the survey data into a report that ranks those institutions along several tech-transfer categories.
Overall, industry partners have brought more than 1,100 products based on UGA research to market. Many support Georgia’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry, like the new high-oleic peanut variety; this new peanut variant helps extend shelf life for peanuts and products that include peanuts. New pecan varieties help support Georgia’s position as the leader in U.S. pecan production.
Others, like UGA-developed blueberries, are used on every continent except Antarctica.
One of these products comes from InfraredRX, a UGA startup company working to produce an all-in-one, noninvasive device to help measure and guide treatment for peripheral artery disease. Described by InfraredRX co-founder Kevin McCully as an “early version of the Star Trek tricorder,” this product has potential use for situations like tracking muscle overexertion during exercise. The company has been awarded grants from the Georgia Research Alliance and over $1.5 million in STTR grant funding from the National Institutes of Health to develop its product.
UGA saw improvement in its ranking for number of active licenses with industry, climbing to No. 3 from No. 4, and ranked No. 13 for deal flow with 146 licenses and options executed with industry. It also ranks No. 5 among all universities for patent licenses and options and earned $11.3 million in licensing revenue in FY22. For the second year in a row, UGA was in the top 15 for U.S. public universities for number of operational startups at No. 15.
“We are Georgia’s only land- and sea-grant institution, which means we have a double responsibility to serve the citizens of our state; turning UGA research into products that benefit consumers is one very important way we live up to that mission,” said Karen Burg, UGA’s vice president for research. “I’m proud of the work our faculty, staff and students do in pursuing the lines of inquiry that are fundamental to moving ideas to products, as well as the work of our team in the Innovation Gateway to support them and maximize the impact of their research.”’
“The University of Georgia is proud of its success in translating research into products that improve the quality of life for citizens in Georgia and beyond,” said S. Jack Hu, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “This latest ranking by AUTM is further evidence of the incredible trajectory of UGA’s research enterprise and innovation ecosystem.”