The University of Central Florida has been ranked among the top 25 universities in the world for the number of patents awarded in 2012.

The ranking, by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), is based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

UCF researchers received 72 patents and were ranked 21st on the list of 100.

“This ranking recognizes that the innovation coming out of UCF is impacting our local economy and raising the university’s research profile around the world,” said MJ Soileau, vice president for research & commercialization.

UCF ranked above such academic powerhouses as Northwestern University, Harvard University and Duke University.

The NAI and the IPO compiled the listing to emphasize the impact university research has on worldwide economic development.

“University inventors are the discoverers and creators of new solutions to existing problems, and, as such, are key contributors to the advancement of technology,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NIA.  “Protection of this intellectual property, through the patenting process, underpins the creation of new industries and employment.”

Over the years, professors at UCF have earned patents on many technologies including a technique to detect Crohn’s disease, a non-toxic method of removing oil from water which doesn’t harm the environment and liquid crystal display technology, which is why we can see cell phone screens in daylight or in the dark.

With the NAI/IPO ranking UCF has proven itself to be a leader not just in the numbers of patents awarded but in the quality of those patents.  UCF is ranked in the IEEE’s listing of the top 20 universities in the world in patent strength.  And three UCF inventors will be honored in March with the designation of NAI Fellow for their innovative work (the three have a combined 104 patents) and its impact on economic development and society.