Posts Tagged ‘research’

University Inventions on the Rise

University Inventions on the Rise

Photo: guardian.co.uk

Universities are hubs for education and big, new ideas in research and inventions. Many people don’t realize how profitable these inventions can be and how much funding they can bring to the university.

According to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, universities and inventors earned more than $1.8 billion in 2011 by commercializing their academic research, collecting royalties, and forming longstanding arrangements for new products.

“The 157 universities that responded to the annual survey of the Association of University Technology Managers, released on Monday, completed 5,398 licenses and filed for 12,090 new patents,” The Chronicle reported. “They also created 617 start-up companies.”

The number of start up companies has not increased over the past year, but the total revenues from these start ups has increased exponentially. In 2010, 153 colleges and universities were surveyed. Twenty-three reported a licensing income of over $15 million and 22 institutions reported around that much.

By earning more than $191 million in licensing income, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, earned the most of all the universities that took part in the annual study.

One of the most profitable inventions of 2011 was a new strain of wheat invented at the University of Nebraska, which grossed over $16.7 million this year. The collaboration between NUTech Ventures and Bayer Crop Science has helped the university create new varieties of wheat that can be sold in markets, like those found in Europe, where genetically modified crops are illegal.

Researchers at Nebraska are also trying to encourage more students and faculty to contribute to the project. The university is experiencing an invention-disclosure rate of 160 a year, which is up from 60 four years ago.

“With big corporations doing less and less hiring, there is more of an awareness from students and faculty that entrepreneurship is a growing career path, a growing alternative,” said Tony Stanco, executive director of the National Council on Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer.

Licensing inventions and start up ideas are good for higher education institutions because they can collect revenue long after the initial invention takes off. For example, the University of Florida still owns the trademark on the Gatorade brand and receives royalties on Gatorade products even though the invention was made in 1965.

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Even in Tough Economy, Earning College Degree Important as Ever

Earning College Degree Still Important

Photo: collegedegreetypes.com

In the midst of a bad economy, you may be wondering, “Is a college degree worth it? It is that important?” Rest assured, experts still assert that a college degree is your best asset when trying to join the workforce. While students with college degrees are often having trouble finding jobs, let alone jobs pertaining to their university major, people who do not have college degrees are having an even harder time.

According to a new research study published by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the majority of jobs lost in the recession were held by workers who did not have a college degree (.pdf).

“The recession hit those with less schooling disproportionately hard—nearly four out of five jobs lost were held by those with no formal education beyond high school,” the introduction to the report said. “At the other end of the spectrum, workers who had completed a four-year college degree or higher were largely protected against job losses during the recession and some high-education fields even had job gains. The job recovery has only increased the divide between the less-educated and more-educated.”

With rising tuition costs and high unemployment rates across the country, many people began to question whether or not a college degree is really important. The study found that graduating from college remains an individual’s best ally in the job market.

Since the economy began a recovery phase, 3.4 million jobs have been added to the workforce. The study reports that all of the gains made were found in individuals who had received at least some level of college education. Students who had received a Bachelor’s degree found 2 million new jobs, and 91 percent of individuals who have an Associate’s degree have recovered the jobs they had before the recession.

Other factors of employment were also discussed, such as gender disparity and post-recession job gains.

“Although women still outnumber men among students enrolled in four-year colleges and graduate programs, the rate of men enrolling in college increased significantly during and after the recession. Though the differences between enrollment growth rates for men and women are marginal, the changes were taking place in the right direction. As a result, instead of a widening gap of college enrollment between men and women, enrollment levels of men and women are expected to parallel each other in the future,” the study said.

Although times may be tough, the benefits of education are indisputable, and experts urge high school seniors to attend college after graduation and attain the highest degree possible. This will ensure that students are well-equipped to find a job and become contributing members of society.

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