The University of Utah ranked 19th in the world on the Nature Index, a list of top institutions that produce the high-quality research behind commercialized goods and services. Measuring the impact of basic research on innovation, the list was commissioned by Nature Research, publisher of the top-tier scientific journal Nature and other publications.
The Nature Index ranks international institutions by calculating the number of research citations listed on patents owned by third parties, rather than those owned by institutions themselves.
A patent establishes a party’s right to prohibit others from using, selling, or fabricating an invention. The research papers cited in a patent application offer a mechanism to measure the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge to industry.
“The U’s value of basic research has been a strong catalyst for commercial innovation and technology,” said Andrew Weyrich, vice president for research at the U. “Successful commercialization starts with small discoveries in the lab that ultimately evolves into new technologies, products and services for society. This wonderful recognition is due to our remarkable faculty and the high-quality research that is produced through their continued dedication and hard work.”
Each institution listed in the Nature Index was normalized against its total research output in the natural sciences by using Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. The step more fairly compared the output of the different institutions to their research capacity.
“Basic research provides the fuel for our commercialization engine,” said Keith Marmer, executive director of Technology & Venture Commercialization at the U. “We are fortunate to see so many research programs at the U which focus on unmet needs in a market.”
The data was assembled by Lens, a free, open and secure global facility to make the innovation system more transparent. Lens identified the top 200 high performing institutions using the top 100 institutions listed in the at least one of the following: the Nature Index, Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Thomson Innovation or the Leiden Ranking.
“This analysis comes at a time when following the transfer of scientific knowledge into industry and the economy is a growing priority for governments and research funding agencies – for them, the need to demonstrate that publicly funded science is being used for society’s benefit is paramount,” David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index, said in the Nature press release. “This innovation supplement is part of a wider effort from the Nature Index – together with partners such as the Lens and Clarivate Analytics, with their own insightful data – to examine new trends in research publishing and its interface with sectors outside of academia.”