The National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association today announced that the University of Central Florida ranks 41st in the world for the number of U.S. patents issued in 2016.

From this listing, UCF ranks 21st among public universities in the nation.

The recognition is an important one because patents often lead to industrial innovations that impact daily life. Of the 56 patents UCF obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2016, more than half were related to inventions in health care – 38 percent – and optics and photonics – 18 percent – which are among UCF’s strengths and Central Florida’s regional economic priorities.

“UCF continues to compete in the top tier of the nation’s public research universities for patents because of the emphasis we place on innovation that not only elevates knowledge, but also solves real-world problems,” said Elizabeth Klonoff, UCF’s vice president for Research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The report, Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2016, is based on the number of U.S. utility patents obtained by universities in 2016. To see the full list, visit

Universities aim to take scientific discovery from the research bench to the marketplace, and patents are one step in that process.

UCF offers a variety of programs to help entrepreneurs reach the market. Programs include the UCF Business Incubation Program and the Venture Accelerator, which assist with market research and business planning. I-Corps leads qualified entrepreneurial teams through a five-week “boot camp” geared toward bringing products to market, and GrowFL helps qualified companies grow to the next level.

And these programs’ success is being recognized. The Milken Institute recently ranked UCF 22nd in the nation for its success in technology transfer.

Some examples of patents generated in 2016 include:

  • Deep brain simulation: This technology is a form of brain stimulation using targeted, single and on-demand pulses to treat several neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. UCF Emeritus Professor Richard Gilson and neurosurgeon Dr. Nizam Razack developed the technology. Gilson, from Psychology, invented the device after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Facial recognition technology: UCF Pegasus Professor of Computer Science Mubarak Shah, a widely recognized expert in computer vision research, and his team at the UCF Center for Research in Computer Vision developed a technology that improves the ability to complete facial identification of individuals in photos and video. Human analytics company Kairos has licensed the technology.
  • UCF, the University of Florida and the University of South Florida, which together represent the Florida High Tech Corridor, had 261 total U.S. patents in 2016, compared to 152 granted to universities in North Carolina’s Research Triangle (Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina) and 234 patents granted to Silicon Hills universities in Texas (the entire University of Texas system, Rice University and Texas A&M University).

    This is the fifth consecutive year that the Florida High Tech Corridor universities have outpaced other well-known research hubs nationwide.

    “For an unbelievable five years in a row, The Corridor has continued to climb the ranks in terms of patents to stand alongside notable high-tech hubs across the country,” said Ed Schons, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council. “The outcome of this report is a testament to the work of our talented researchers, scientists and innovators, and it illustrates the promising and continued growth of our region.”

    UCF has hundreds of innovations that have been developed by professors, researchers and students, ranging from diagnostics tools to displays, sensors to simulators, nanotechnology to clean tech, and many more available for licensing.

    To learn more about licensing opportunities and other ways to partner with UCF to bring inventions to market, visit