The giant leap from lab to market: Purdue again among international leaders in patents received at No. 6


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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 169 utility patents on Purdue University inventions in 2021

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Regenerating fractured bones. Analyzing crop sustainability and moisture in soil. Developing a system to simulate breastfeeding. Attaching soft tissue to an implant.

How big are the research ideas in Purdue University laboratories? Big enough that the university is once again in rare air internationally and a standard-bearer among peers.

In 2021, Purdue Research Foundation received 169 patents, placing it first in both the state of Indiana and the Big Ten, and, again, sixth internationally.

Purdue, which remained among the world’s best universities at creating and protecting its intellectual property, is second among universities that do not have a school of medicine. The only universities ranked higher than Purdue are the University of California system; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Texas system; King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Stanford University.

The 2021 ranking mirrors Purdue’s No. 6 ranking in 2020, when the foundation received 175 utility patents. The newest ranking was released Wednesday (Sept. 7). The patents are from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The information was published in a report from the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the National Academy of Inventors.

“Purdue Research Foundation supports Purdue University in multiple ways, including the commercialization of inventions created by faculty, staff and student researchers across all academic disciplines and campuses,” said Brian Edelman, president of the Purdue Research Foundation. “Purdue researchers are among the leading experts in numerous disciplines, so their research is at the forefront of what is possible. Their research will impact lives around the world once commercialization efforts bring them to the market.”

Among the patents issued in 2021 were:

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization manages the technology transfer process to vet, protect and license innovations developed by university researchers. Its technology portfolio covers innovations in several subject areas including agriculture, biotechnology, chemistry and chemical analysis, computer technology, engineering, food and nutrition, green technology, micro- and nanotechnologies and more.

Purdue Research Foundation continues to improve the methods for researchers to share their inventions.

“Supporting university inventors as they move through the commercialization process is of the greatest importance,” said Brooke Beier, senior vice president of commercialization for the Purdue Research Foundation. “PRF wants the process of disclosing inventions and obtaining patent protection to be as smooth as possible so Purdue inventors and entrepreneurs can be as successful as possible. Ensuring the process is clear and that inventors know where to go for assistance will be key.”

In the 2021 fiscal year, OTC:

Since 2001, OTC has:

From 2006-21, OTC has received more than $80 million in net revenue from licensing activity.

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university’s academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. The office is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District at Purdue, adjacent to the Purdue campus. In fiscal year 2021, the office reported 159 deals finalized with 236 technologies signed, 394 disclosures received and 187 issued U.S. patents. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Contact for more information.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

Writer: Steve Martin,

Sources: Brian Edelman,

Brooke Beier,