The research and innovation community at Rutgers came together to celebrate its own at the 2023 Patent Celebration hosted by the Rutgers Office for Research. Some 171 Rutgers researchers have been issued a total of 315 U.S. patents between fiscal years 2020-2022 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022).
Rutgers researchers who received patents were awarded plaques to honor their accomplishments and were congratulated by both Senior Vice President for Research Michael E. Zwick and Acting Executive Director of Innovation Ventures Deborah Perez Fernandez.
James Simon, Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and director of New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products Program (NUANPP), was among the Rutgers patent holders to be honored. Simon, who is also the director of the Center for Agricultural Food Ecosystems (RUCAFE) and The New Jersey Institute of Food, Nutrition & Health, and the co-director of Center for Sensory Sciences and Innovation (CSSI), was quoted as saying:
“To scientists, the protection of intellectual property is important for several reasons. First, it often permits and justifies the private sector to invest in the commercialization of a discovery that can be useful to society, whether it’s a new medicine, food, healthcare device, and new technology. Without such protection, many companies would not invest and commercialize in the new technology/invention. The protection of such IP facilitates being discovered and shared as an idea and fosters commercialization and its utilization. Secondly, as scientists, we seek answers and solutions, and when we are fortunate to discover something so unique, innovative, and creative, it’s our intellectual artistry not unlike that of authors of books (fiction/nonfiction), musicians and composers, and artists. They too, seek to share their work but want to be recognized for their ‘inventorship.’ To that end, the Office for Research and Innovation Ventures team has simply been exceptional. The leadership, staff, and assistance in this office make it possible for me to pursue patents. I see them as my/our partners in the commercialization process. Having such a strong collaborative partner makes it more exciting and worthy to pursue new inventions. I don’t see this level of support at other universities, and I feel quite fortunate to have such close friends and colleagues at the Office for Research. This event is a celebration of discovery, intellectual contributions that the RU community provides to society, and a real hallmark of such a multidisciplinary and supportive community. This award ceremony, with the celebration and providing the plaques to the inventors, tells us that the Office for Research and the university truly care.”
Over the past three years, there were a total of 512 invention disclosures made to Innovation Ventures, 515 U.S. Patents filed by the team, and 192 U.S. Patents issued. In all, the collaboration between researchers and Innovation Ventures led to $68 million in licensing revenue, 1,329 new agreements signed, 526 technologies licensed, 231 licenses and options, and 19 new startups formed. Currently, the Office for Research is managing 1,320 active technologies, 40% of which are licensed.