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Faculty, staff, and students at the University of Arkansas disclosed a record number of invention disclosures for the fiscal year that ended in June.

The 47 invention disclosures filed with the university’s Technology Ventures office showed a 52 percent increase in the number of inventions disclosed compared to the previous fiscal year. Technology Ventures also filed a total of 54 patent applications in fiscal year 2019, up 23 percent compared to fiscal year 2018.

The university announced the invention disclosures in a press release today.

“Receiving so many high-quality invention disclosures, a more than 50 percent increase from last year, is a testament to the type of faculty, staff and students we have on campus and the innovative research they are doing,” said David Hinton, associate director of Technology Ventures.

Between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, the number of invention disclosures, patents filed, patents issued and number of license agreements saw significant growth both over the previous year and Technology Ventures’ historical average.

“The University of Arkansas is pleased to support faculty and staff by providing the resources they need to make groundbreaking discoveries and launch those discoveries into the market where they can make a real impact,” said Stacy Leeds, vice chancellor for economic development. “We are proud of our team in Technology Ventures and the exceptional resources they provide U of A faculty, staff and students.”

Technology Ventures, a collaboration between the Office of Economic Development and the Office of Research and Innovation, commercializes and manages the intellectual property portfolio for the University of Arkansas. Technology Ventures actively assists faculty, staff and students in realizing the commercial potential of their scientific discoveries on campus.

“I think we have had such a large increase in the activity of our inventors because there is a shifting culture in the direction of entrepreneurship and innovation on campus and within the local community; people are more engaged than ever. It is an exciting time to be in Northwest Arkansas,” Hinton said.

Technology Ventures is looking forward to maintaining this momentum moving into fiscal year 2020. Thanks to the support of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, the University of Arkansas is able to strategically invest through three university funds in research on campus that has the high potential for commercialization.

The Chancellor’s Commercialization Fund is a $1 million annual investment that can be used to reduce the inherent risk of inventions that offer strong commercialization potential. The Chancellor’s Gap Fund leverages the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program to fund entrepreneurial teams of faculty, staff and students who have completed customer discovery on the national level. In addition, the new $1 million Chancellor’s Fund for Humanities and Performing Arts will foster creativity, enrich collaboration and lead to intellectual property development.

Pictured at the top: Jingyi Chen, a associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Arkansas, stands in one of her laboratories. She’s working with partners to develop a way to turn ethanol into electrical energy.

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