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USM Named to Top 10 of Nation’s Patent-Producing Universities

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The University of Maryland ranks No. 9 among public institutions for patents awarded in 2023, with innovations including new varieties of apple trees and an intranasal vaccine for influenza.

Illustration from iStock

Via Maryland Today / By Sara Gavin

The University of Maryland ranks among the world’s best academic institutions at transforming research and discovery into patents, according to a new report released Thursday by the National Academy of Inventors.

Together with other schools in the University System of Maryland (USM), the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) ranks ninth among U.S. public institutions – up five spots from the previous year – and 21st in the world for patents awarded in 2023, compared to 32nd in 2022. According to the report, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year granted a total of 108 patents to five USM institutions, 59 of which are held by UMCP – 18 more than the year prior.

“Patents are not only incredibly important for protecting ideas born out of university research, but they also promote progress, innovation and economic growth,” said Ken Porter, the College Park executive director of UM Ventures, an initiative of the MPowering the State strategic partnership to commercialize discoveries and create economic impact at both the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Our region and state stand to benefit tremendously from the products, services and startups enabled by our researchers successfully converting their work into patents.”

Innovations from UMCP researchers that received patents in 2023 include:

  1. Two new varieties of apple trees developed by Professor Emeritus Christopher Walsh and colleagues in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture’s Maryland Tree Architecture Project.

  2. A system and method for assessing, measuring, managing and optimizing cyber risk created by Charles Harry, associate research professor in the School of Public Policy.

  3. Devices and methods for converting methane in order to develop green and sustainable energies patented by Dongxia Liu, a visiting professor in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering.

  4. A method for targeting a gene mutation that can cause Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome – characterized by accelerated, premature aging in affected children – developed by Kan Cao, professor of cell biology and molecular genetics, and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and Sarepta Therapeutics.

  5. A new intranasal vaccine designed to prevent influenza infection by Professor Xiaoping Zhu and Assistant Research Professor Weizhong Li from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, along with colleagues.

  6. Super strong and durable wood structure, added to a growing list of materials licensed to Inventwood, founded by Professor Liangbing Hu, director of the Center for Materials Innovation.

NAI released the 2023 Top 100 Worldwide Universities List to help commemorate National Inventors Day. The academy has been releasing the rankings based on calendar year data provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office since 2013.

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