Research, Partnerships and Innovation
UCF researchers drive intellectual capital and innovation to solve today’s most pressing problems. As a metropolitan research university, we promote economic development in the region by aiding in the transfer of technology and other discoveries between university and industry to create next-generation ideas and products. Our graduates, who benefit from working alongside our research faculty, also contribute to the economy by driving innovation through local company employment or by launching their own businesses. From nanoscience and simulation to healthcare and the environment, UCF researchers work together to have real-world impact, improving the lives of our students and community.
University Research Impact
UCF researchers are committed to discovery and innovation. Each year, our researchers attract an estimated $200 million in grants, gifts and sponsored awards. But a dollar figure doesn’t tell the whole story. Research and scholarship are about the impact our work is having on our students, community, nation and around the globe. It’s about helping solve real-world problems that make a difference in people’s lives. In addition to supporting innovative research, we’re helping strengthen and diversify our local and state economy.
Sponsored research funding in 2020 — a 40% increase since 2016.
Patent applications filed in 2019.
U.S. patents issued in 2020.
Licenses and options executives in 2020.
In 2020, 15 UCF students were named National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows.
Fulbright Scholars from around the world choose UCF graduate programs to do their research.
Multidisciplinary Research Clusters
UCF’s Faculty Cluster Initiative leverages our diverse talent, facilities, location and industry partnerships to foster the development of strong, interdisciplinary teams focused on solving today’s toughest scientific and societal challenges through teaching and research. Bringing together some of the brightest minds creates synergies among diverse disciplines to help generate research breakthroughs.
Among the groups making the biggest gains are the Center for Research in Computer Vision, Florida Space Institute and Faculty Research Clusters. Comprised of faculty across disciplines, the nine clusters are focused on tackling thematic, global issues, including cybersecurity, coastal sustainability, and disability and aging.
Innovation in Action
When research yields a discovery, what happens next? At the Office of Technology Transfer, our team helps UCF discoveries go public through intellectual property protection, marketing and licensing processes. The office connects UCF researchers with companies and entrepreneurs to take technology to market. By working together, we are able to make the greatest impact.
In addition to collaborating on research and commercialization, we are focused on unprecedented results. UCF professors have been recognized for their innovation and invention by the establishment of a local chapter of the National Academy of Inventors.
UCF Researchers Use Advanced Light to Reveal How Different Biofuels Behave
The work is part of a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to identify cleaner burning and renewable alternatives to gasoline.
Arecibo Observatory Helps Researchers Find Possible ‘First Hints’ of Low-Frequency Gravitational Waves
Although the researchers used Arecibo Observatory data, they are no longer able to make observations using the observatory since it collapsed in December following broken…
Serving our Faculty and Students
UCF offers a host of resources that our faculty and student investigators can tap into. These include training and workshops, funding opportunities, and help in complying with federal and state regulations pertaining to research.
Faculty are at the heart of any research institution. That’s why the UCF Office of Research offers several services to help support faculty. For example, the Office of Research works with faculty to submit sponsored-research proposals to federal and private agencies, provides workshops, seminars and training opportunities to help enhance grant success and administers research awards and oversees research integrity and compliance.
Graduate students at UCF have access to renowned professors, talented mentors and state-of-the-art technology, and can take advantage of resources such as research seminars, discussion groups, professional development workshops and social events that support them as they progress through their studies.
UCF professors engage students in their projects, giving them invaluable experience in the laboratory and in their chosen fields. The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Venture Accelerator create ideal environments for students, faculty and entrepreneurs to collaborate on research and provide business solutions.
Local Research, Global Impact
Strong relationships and a shared vision lead to successful partnerships right here in Central Florida. One such partner, the Florida High Tech Corridor, spans 23 counties and serves to attract and retain technology industries and a talented workforce in our area. UCF has solid relationships throughout the region that are built on mutual respect and common goals, and it’s clear that together we are making an impact.
In nearby Central Florida Research Park, many of the 12,300+ employees work with UCF researchers and students on projects in the sciences, engineering, photonics and optics, modeling and simulation and health-related fields. And our Business Incubation Program, which provides startup companies with the incubator tools and support they need to become stable and high-growth enterprises, has helped create and sustain more than 6,200 local jobs and have had an impact of $2.48 billion on regional economic output.