BioVentures Earns UAMS National Ranking of 87th Out of 225 Universities for Technology Transfer

By Ben Boulden

UAMS ranked above several well-known institutions, including the University of Chicago, Tulane University, Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, Boston University, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

BioVentures licenses the innovative technologies created and developed at UAMS while also nurturing new businesses and marketing and selling them.

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. It does this through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings and meaningful policy initiatives.

In late April in its report, “Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer,” the Milken Institute published the ranking of universities in its University Technology Transfer and Commercialization Index.

The ranking in the index is based on data collected by the Association of University Technology Managers’ Annual Licensing Activity Survey. Four-year averages (2012-15) for four key indicators of technology transfer success are included in the index: patents issued, licenses issued, licensing income, and start-ups formed.

When the institute last issued a similar report in 2006, it ranked 100 universities, and BioVentures was not included.

“At BioVentures and among the UAMS research community, we know we’re working hard to progress our mission of increasing people’s access to advances in medicine and medical technology, as well as creating new companies that provide employment for Arkansans,” said Nancy Gray, Ph.D., BioVentures director. “It’s gratifying to see this improvement in our ranking.  This reflects the participation of faculty, staff and students throughout UAMS who work with BioVentures to protect and transfer innovations to the commercial marketplace.”

By every key economic development measure, BioVentures is succeeding. More than 20 companies are active and supported by it. Together, the companies have attracted more than $115 million in investment and employ about 300 people. BioVentures manages 210 works or inventions that have resulted in or may result in patents.

“American economic vitality is fueled by invention,” said Ross DeVol, chief research officer for the Milken Institute, who also authored the original 2006 study on the topic. “As a society, we understand our universities as the training ground for the next generation of leaders and doers, but we often overlook the benefits these institutions impart simply by bringing new ideas to life. Our study shows the impact of university research both locally and nationally is profound and needs our support.”

The report found that university research funding supports the creation of both middle- and high-skill industry jobs through innovation, commercialization and technology transfer.