University of Arkansas No. 69 among U.S. public universities in tech transfer for economic return

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,139 views 

Photo credit: Michael Barera

Among U.S. research universities, the University of Arkansas ranks 69th for creating knowledge, imparting it to STEM graduates and bringing discoveries to the market.

The rankings are based on a new report from Bentonville think tank Heartland Forward.  Researchers released the 68-page report Thursday (May 12) on the final day of the Heartland Summit in Bentonville.

In the report “Research to Renewal, Advancing University Tech Transfer,” researchers took an in-depth look at the transfer activities of universities across the United States and provided data, insights, and recommendations that will help schools increase their impact on the communities they serve.

Maryann Feldman, the Heninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, was the lead author.

Heartland Forward measured 166 research universities’ success in not only creating research but infusing its benefits into the private sector through graduates and technology transfer “to yield an economic return on investment.”

The rankings were normalized by each university’s research expenditures “to obtain a measure of efficiency in converting inputs into outputs.”

Arkansas’ rank is just ahead of Kansas State University and just behind Brown University.

“I’m so pleased to see the great work of our researchers and STEM graduates recognized by Heartland Forward,” John English, UA vice chancellor for research and innovation, said in a news release. “Our people are our greatest asset, and their perseverance and ingenuity are making a positive difference for our university, our state and our region.”

The UA ranked particularly well in “Licenses and Options” (23rd in normalized index value) and “Startups Formed” (44th in normalized index value).

“Our ranking in ‘Research to Renewal’ reflects the strong progress being made in technology transfer and commercialization activities at the University of Arkansas,” Mike Malone, UA vice chancellor for economic development, said in the release. “Through our talented graduates, tech transfer and commercialized research, startup and small business support, and industry partnerships, the U of A spurs economic growth and prosperity in every corner of the state.”

Carnegie Mellon University ranked No. 1 in the Heartland Forward study and the University of Florida ranked second. The highest-ranked research university in the heartland is the University of Minnesota (10th overall, fifth among public universities).