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University System of Maryland Ranks Among World’s Top Patent Producers

By Sara Gavin

The University of Maryland continues to excel at turning research and innovation into issued patents, according to a new report released Wednesday by the National Academy of Inventors.

Together with other schools in the University System of Maryland (USM), the University of Maryland, College Park ranks 14th among U.S. public institutions and 32nd in the world for patents awarded in 2022. According to the report, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year granted a total of 89 patents to five USM institutions, 41 of which are held by UMD.

“The fact that the University System of Maryland continues to show up on this list—and near the top—shows that our innovative ecosystem is alive and strong here in Maryland,” said Ken Porter, director of UM Ventures in College Park. “Creating a pathway for academic research to develop into patented technologies, products and services is central to our mission of serving the citizens of Maryland and making an impact on society overall.”

Innovations developed by UMCP researchers that received patents in 2022, include:

  • An automated system and method for picking crab meat, invented by Professor Yang Tao in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering.
  • A contact-free method for measuring heart rates during exercise using video rather than traditional methods such as electrodes on the skin, chest belts, finger clips or smart watches, developed by engineering Professor Min Wu and colleagues.
  • A targeted vaccine against RSV—a common virus particularly dangerous for infants and elderly adults—developed by Xiaoping Zhu, professor and chair of the Department of Veterinary Medicine, and colleagues.
  • A method for turning natural wood into a more flexible structure, invented by materials science and engineering Professor Liangbing Hu and colleagues.
  • Devices and systems invented by Francisco Javier Atencia-Fernandez, a former assistant research professor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and founder of Pathotrak, that can separate bacteria from samples, useful for testing and screening water sources, environmental sites, food sources and bodily fluids.

The release of the 2022 list coincides with World IP Day, which aims to highlight the role that intellectual property rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.