Research under the University of California system is able to generate significant amounts of revenue as a result of the UC’s ownership of patents, especially if the research can be transformed into economically viable products and technologies.
In the 2003-2004 fiscal year, the UC received $93.2 million from agreements it made with companies to license its patents. In 2004, the UC system held a total of 424 active patents, with UCI holding 174 of them.
Seven percent of the research done in California takes place on UC campuses, which produce approximately 41,000 new Ph.D.s each year. In the 2000 fiscal year, UCI spent $10 million on information technology and engineering research and $88 million on research in the biological sciences.
Much of the research money comes directly from the state of California, but a significant portion also comes from local or national business investments and donations.
Researchers do not always know how their research will be applied. Patents serve as an official record of one’s research and allow the researcher to hold sole rights to his or her discovery or invention for a predetermined number of years.
‘Patents are one, though not the only, way of measuring the quality, scientific breadth, reputation and public service [value] of research conducted by a public university,’ said Trey Davis, director of special projects in the UC Office of the President.
‘UC research is crucial in growing California’s economy