UCF Receives Top Ranks for Patent Creation for 9th Consecutive Year

According to the most recent National Academy of Inventors report, the University of Central Florida is ranked among the top 100 public universities for patent creation for the ninth straight year.

The report ranked UCF the 31st public university in the country and 60th in the world for 2021.

The annual report is prepared by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. It ranks institutions each year based on the number of patents received from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

UCF secured 45 patents in 2021, ahead of Carnegie Mellon (38), Texas A&M University (40), and Pennsylvania State University (39). The three universities that got the top spots were the University of California system (589), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (335), and the University of Texas (203).

“Patents are an important element in the transition from technological advances to societal benefits,” says Winston Schoenfeld, interim vice president of research at UCF. “UCF’s consistent ranking among the top patenters speaks to the value of the technologies our researchers advance and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to ensuring they make real impact through patenting and translation.”

The patents were secured by the UCF Office of Technology Transfer, which brings discoveries to market through intellectual property protection, marketing and licensing practices, connecting UCF researchers with companies and entrepreneurs to transform innovative ideas into successful products.

Svetlana Shtrom08MBADirector of UCF’s Technology Transfer Office says patents reflect the university’s depth of research and innovation.

“For an invention to be patentable, it must be novel, non-obvious, and useful,” says Shtrom. “UCF’s patent ranking is a testament to our pioneering researchers and their tireless efforts to push the frontiers of science, technology and medicine.”

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Here are some of the UCF inventions that resulted in patents in 2021:

Evaluation and prevention systems and methods for heart failure resumption

Lead Researcher: Thomas Wan, Professor and Associate Dean of Research at the College of Health Professions and Sciences

This invention is a decision support tool for improving patient care and reducing heart failure-related hospitalizations. The innovation enables hospitals to identify and analyze patient-centric human factors such as choice, rest, environment, diet, habits, activity and other human factors that impact a patient’s health outcomes. The results generated by the tool enable physicians and patients to design and apply interventions that mitigate the risks of readmission. UCF is looking for commercial partners to license the technology.

Autonomous Systems Human Controller Simulation

Lead Researcher: Gregory Welch, Pegasus Professor and AdventHealth Endowed Chair in Healthcare Simulation at the UCF College of Nursing

This invention uses dynamic, realistic simulations to facilitate true human awareness and confidence in an autonomous control system such as a self-driving vehicle. Studies have shown that real people have negative feelings about automated systems, such as insecurity, worry, stress, or fear. This invention provides a dynamic virtual human that is constantly aware of the state of a system and reacts to situational data synchronously with the system. The invention can be used for medical, financial and other autonomous systems. UCF is looking for commercial partners to license this technology.

Synergistic green environmental media based on iron and clay to remove nutrients

Lead Researcher: Ni-Bin Chang, Professor at the College of Engineering and Computer Science

This invention is an environmentally friendly, low cost water filtration system. It removes excess nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, from rainwater, sewage, and agricultural runoff. Using a mixture of clay, sand and iron particles, the green environmental medium of the invention efficiently removes nitrogen and phosphorus, which can then be reused in crops, gardens and yards. This invention is licensed to a publicly traded, internationally recognized water management products and services company.

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Multi-component in vitro system for recording cell signaling pathways through electronic stimulation patterns

Lead Researcher: James Hickman, founding director and professor at the UCF NanoScience Technology Center

This invention is a cell culture analog system that helps reduce the reliance on animal testing while providing improved predictions of responses from humans or other organisms such as plants, animals, or insects. The system analyzes different cell types and records cell responses before, during and after a stimulus. In exemplary applications, the multi-component in vitro system can mimic or simulate the effects of living tissues and organs, such as. B. cardiac pacemakers, muscle dynamics and neural information processing. This patent is licensed to a UCF startup, Hesperos, Inc., which is accelerating drug discovery using a human-on-a-chip platform.

Agrochemical compositions and processes for their preparation and use

Lead Researcher: Swadeshmukul Santra, Professor at the NanoScience Technology Center, Department of Chemistry, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Also known as T-SOL, this invention simultaneously improves plant growth, increases crop yields and protects plants from bacterial and fungal diseases. Examples are citrus canker, citrus greens, common scab and bacterial leaf spot. The new green technology, which can be used in liquid or powder form, is environmentally friendly and safely eliminates up to 99% of harmful microorganisms from a plant’s surface. UCF is looking for commercial partners to license this technology.

Heterostructured thin film catalysts with nanocavities

Lead Researcher: Yang Yang, associate professor at the Nanoscience Technology Center

This invention is a catalytic converter that enables better utilization of alternative fuel sources. The catalyst increases the energy-harvesting ability of solar cells and can also act as a photocatalyst for water-splitting — the chemical reaction used to extract hydrogen fuel from seawater. Developed using inexpensive, non-toxic and chemically stable titanium dioxide, the technology works without heavy doping, narrow-bandgap semiconductors, or costly and potentially polluting precious metals and co-catalysts. UCF is looking for commercial partners to license this technology.

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Polymer composite with dispersed transition metal oxide particles

Lead Researcher: Sudipta Seal, Chair and Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering

This invention enables manufacturers to create polymer composites with more effective, higher-performing nanoparticles than other methods used today. Polymer composites are essential for energetic materials (propellants, explosives, fuels), optics and structural materials. Compared to other powder-based preparation methods, UCF technology also improves worker safety by eliminating the need for powder handling. The invention is licensed to a UCF startup, Helicon Chemical Company, which is developing a turnkey, improved propellant binder that will improve the performance of missiles, rockets, aerospace propulsion systems and munitions for government and commercial customers. The company’s proprietary technology enables the rapid modernization of current armaments and future hypersonic weapons programs – in alignment with one of the Department of Defense’s top research and development priorities for 2022. The startup has received multiple grants for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer from US Defense Agencies to conduct the feasibility and scaling of the technology. The startup is currently in the process of raising Series A funding.

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