Purdue University: The giant leap from lab to market- Purdue again among international leaders in patents received at No. 6


Regenerating fractured bones. Analyzing crop sustainability and moisture in soil. Developing a system to simulate breastfeeding. Attaching soft tissue to an implant.

How big are the research ideas in Purdue University laboratories? Big enough that the university is once again in rare air internationally and a standard-bearer among peers.

In 2021, Purdue Research Foundation received 169 patents, placing it first in both the state of Indiana and the Big Ten, and, again, sixth internationally.

Purdue, which remained among the world’s best universities at creating and protecting its intellectual property, is second among universities that do not have a school of medicine. The only universities ranked higher than Purdue are the University of California system; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Texas system; King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Stanford University.

The 2021 ranking mirrors Purdue’s No. 6 ranking in 2020, when the foundation received 175 utility patents. The newest ranking was released Wednesday (Sept. 7). The patents are from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The information was published in a report from the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the National Academy of Inventors.

“Purdue Research Foundation supports Purdue University in multiple ways, including the commercialization of inventions created by faculty, staff and student researchers across all academic disciplines and campuses,” said Brian Edelman, president of the Purdue Research Foundation. “Purdue researchers are among the leading experts in numerous disciplines, so their research is at the forefront of what is possible. Their research will impact lives around the world once commercialization efforts bring them to the market.”

Among the patents issued in 2021 were:

“Microelectronic Thermal Valve” by Alina Alexeenko, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and professor of chemical engineering, College of Engineering.
“Controlled Growth of Ultra-Narrow Nanowires on Functionalized 2D Materials and Uses Thereof” by Shelley Claridge, associate professor of analytical/physical chemistry, College of Science.
“Methods and Platforms for Sustainable High Yield Terpenoid Production” by Natalia Doudareva, Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry/Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture.
“Assistive Glove for Artificial Hands” by Chi Hwan Lee, the Leslie A. Geddes Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and associate professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering.
“Gradient on a Chip” by Sophie A. Lelièvre, professor emerita, College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Lubricants Comprising Carbon Particles and Methods of Making the Same” by Vilas Pol, professor of chemical engineering, College of Engineering.
“Flexible Touch Sensing System and Method with Deformable Material” by Karthik Ramani, the Donald W. Feddersen Distinguished Professor in Mechanical Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering, College of Engineering.
“Impact-Resistant Battery Enclosure Systems” by Thomas Siegmund, professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering.
“Computer Remote Indirect Memory Access System” by Mithuna S. Thottethodi, professor of electrical and computer engineering, College of Engineering.
“Preparation of Rare Earth Metals and Other Chemicals from Industrial Waste Coal Ash” by Nien-Hwa Linda Wang, the Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering.
The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization manages the technology transfer process to vet, protect and license innovations developed by university researchers. Its technology portfolio covers innovations in several subject areas including agriculture, biotechnology, chemistry and chemical analysis, computer technology, engineering, food and nutrition, green technology, micro- and nanotechnologies and more.

Purdue Research Foundation continues to improve the methods for researchers to share their inventions.

“Supporting university inventors as they move through the commercialization process is of the greatest importance,” said Brooke Beier, senior vice president of commercialization for the Purdue Research Foundation. “PRF wants the process of disclosing inventions and obtaining patent protection to be as smooth as possible so Purdue inventors and entrepreneurs can be as successful as possible. Ensuring the process is clear and that inventors know where to go for assistance will be key.”

In the 2021 fiscal year, OTC:

Received 394 total disclosures from Purdue innovators: 360 invention disclosures and 34 copyright disclosures.
Filed 713 patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and international patent organizations.
Received 229 U.S. and international patents.
Executed 159 licenses and options.
Received $7.11 million worth of gross revenue in royalty and licensing income ($4.73 million net).
Helped establish 13 startup companies.
Since 2001, OTC has:

Received 5,927 invention disclosures from university researchers.
Applied for 9,060 patents from U.S. and international organizations.
Received 2,632 patents from U.S. and international organizations.
Executed 2,202 licenses for businesses to commercialize Purdue innovations.
Helped create 279 startups based on Purdue innovations.
From 2006-21, OTC has received more than $80 million in net revenue from licensing activity.

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university’s academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. The office is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District at Purdue, adjacent to the Purdue campus. In fiscal year 2021, the office reported 159 deals finalized with 236 technologies signed, 394 disclosures received and 187 issued U.S. patents. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University.

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