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Academic Patents Awarded per 1,000 Science, Engineering, and Health Doctorate Holders in Academia (Patents)

State Indicator S-50

Academic institutions over time have increasingly been viewed as engines of economic growth. Growing attention has been paid to the role of academic R&D in creating new products, processes, and services. One indicator of such R&D results is the volume of patents with inventors associated with academic institutions. Academic patenting is highly concentrated in many universities and partly reflects the resources devoted to institutional patenting offices.

This indicator relates the number of academic-owned utility patents to the size of the doctoral S&E workforce in academia. Academia includes 2-year colleges, 4-year colleges and universities, medical schools, and university-affiliated research centers. Utility patents, commonly known as patents for inventions, include any new, useful, or improved method, process, machine, device, manufactured item, or chemical compound and represent a key measure of intellectual property. Patent assignments are made based on the address of their inventors. For patents with multiple U.S. university inventors from different U.S. states, patents are fractionally allocated among each U.S. state based on the proportion of residences of all named inventors.

Science, engineering, and health (SEH) doctorates include those in computer sciences; mathematics; biological, agricultural, or environmental life sciences; physical sciences; social sciences; psychology; engineering; and health fields. Those academically employed who received doctorates from foreign institutions and those older than 75 are not included in the data. For states with smaller populations, estimates of doctorate holders in academia are generally less precise than estimates for states with larger populations. Data for SEH doctorate holders are presented by employment location regardless of residence.

Data sources: Science-Metrix, special tabulations from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data in PatentsView; National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

  • 1st Quartile

    19.7642.16
  • 2nd Quartile

    12.4219.54
  • 3rd Quartile

    8.9711.43
  • 4th Quartile

    1.338.89
  • No data

Footnote

NOTES: Patents were fractionally allocated among regions/countries/economies based on the proportion of residences of all named inventors. The total for the United States reported here includes Puerto Rico, as well as patents for which the location could not be determined; Employed SEH doctorate holders are classified by employment location.

SOURCE: Science-Metrix, special tabulations (2017) from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data in PatentsView; National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Doctorate Recipients (various years), data as of August 2017.

Recommended Citation: National Science Board. 2018. “Academic Patents Awarded per 1,000 Science, Engineering, and Health Doctorate Holders in Academia.” Science and Engineering Indicators 2018, State Indicators. Alexandria, VA: National Science Foundation (NSB-2018-1). https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/state-indicators/indicator/academic-patents-per-1000-seh-doctorate-holders-in-academia

Last updated: January 18, 2018