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Biotech, Pharma Dominate U.S. Academic Patents

U.S. academic patents

U.S. academic patents, 2002 – 2016 (National Science Foundation)

27 January 2018. National Science Foundation released its biannual Science and Engineering Indicators report this month, that provides a detailed statistical look at the state of science in the U.S. and the world. Among the indicators tracked in the report is patents, a topic we follow regularly on Science & Enterprise as well, and the subject of this week’s infographic.

The NSF report delves into patent activity by academic scientists, also a prime interest of our reporting. It shows an increasing trend in academic patents, with some 6.600 granted to academic scientists in 2016, the last year for which data are available. In 2016, patents on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical technologies accounted for 40 percent of all academic patents, with measurement technologies and organic chemistry each getting 7 percent of the total. And as the chart indicates, the numbers of patents in these fields are increasing in recent years.

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