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Science & Technology

Drexel Moves Forward in Prestigious List of Top 100 International Universities Granted US Utility Patents

June 5, 2019

The ankle replacement device developed by College of Engineering Professor Sorin Siegler, PhD, and the Drexel start-up company Kinos Medical led by Drexel alumnus Brian Garvey.
The ankle replacement device developed by College of Engineering Professor Sorin Siegler, PhD, and the Drexel start-up company Kinos Medical led by Drexel alumnus Brian Garvey.

Drexel University once again ranked in the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)’s list of the world’s top 100 universities for patents granted in the country in 2018.  

Coming in at number 51, Drexel moved up three spots from last year’s ranking in the prestigious list, which the University has consistently made since the inaugural report was issued in 2013. With 44 issued patents from 2018 where Drexel was listed as the first assignee, the University is tied for 51st place with the Science & Technology Corporation at the University of New Mexico.

In its sixth edition, the NAI and IPO’s Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents uses data obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office related to the number of utility patents granted in the 2018 calendar year. The report, and Drexel’s subsequent ranking on it, illustrates the University’s past and ongoing focus on increasing research and innovation and how it leads to patents granted to an undergraduate degree-granting institution and its researchers.

The patents cover the broad range of science and engineering technologies being investigated at the University. They include a patent for a new type of ankle replacement device developed by Sorin Siegler, PhD, a professor in the College of Engineering. This technology is being developed by the Drexel start-up company Kinos Medical, which is led by Drexel alumnus Brian Garvey. Another patent covers a unique medical technology that diagnoses diseases of the liver. Originally developed by researchers in the College of Medicine, it is being brought to market by another Drexel start-up company, Glycotest, which recently raised $10 million to commercially launch a test for liver cancer. A third patent covers a unique device that allows utilities to determine if the pipes connecting homes to municipal water mains are made of lead. The technology allows utilities to identify in a fast, inexpensive manner those homes at risk for lead contamination from their water service. It was developed by Kurt Sjoblom, PhD, an assistant teaching professor in the College of Engineering; Ivan Bartoli, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering; and the College of Engineering’s Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department Head and LD Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering Charles Haas, PhD.

“This NAI and IPO annual report highlights how patents reflect the dynamic nature of an institution’s research program,” said Senior Vice President for Corporate Relations and Economic Development Keith Orris. “I believe the global ranking, when coupled with Drexel’s recent designation as a first-tier research university in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education system, underscores our emphasis on growing research and innovation,” he added.

Orris leads Drexel Ventures, the University’s technology transfer organization that helps Drexel researchers with commercializing translational research.

“While Drexel Ventures directs the patent filing and issuance process in support of our faculty’s prolific success for invention, we also provide technology commercialization and venture programs,” he said. “We are committed to partnering with our entrepreneurial faculty to bring their transformative technologies to the marketplace.”

Senior Associate Vice President for Technology Commercialization Bob McGrath, PhD, agreed, adding, “I am constantly amazed by the innovation of Drexel’s faculty, staff and students. The technologies they are developing today address some of the biggest challenges facing society and industry.”