SUNY Ranks Among Top 100 Worldwide for Patents Granted in 2016

June 6, 2017

Highlights Include Advances in Crime Scene Technology, Cancer Research, Concussion Diagnosis

Albany – The State University of New York ranked 38th in the "Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents for 2016," according to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which publishes the ranking annually based on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data.

SUNY campuses were awarded 57 U.S. utility patents for advances in biotechnology, cancer research, manufacturing, renewable energy, and much more.

"Across SUNY, our faculty and students partner to make groundbreaking discoveries in a broad spectrum of areas," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "Through more than 1,300 U.S. patents earned to date, SUNY research has led to hundreds of new technologies and advances that address society’s greatest challenges and have a positive impact on quality of life in New York and beyond. Congratulations to all those at SUNY whose important work has elevated us to this prominent world ranking."

"This recognition marks a terrific accomplishment for our growing number of SUNY research faculty, who work tirelessly to mentor students while engaging them in research opportunities that advance the frontiers of knowledge and address state and global challenges," said SUNY Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, and NAI Fellow, Alexander N. Cartwright. "Our faculty, a number of whom are NAI members, are a tremendous source of pride for SUNY."

"From energy, to medicine, to consumer technologies and more, innovation is at an all-time high throughout New York State, and SUNY is at the center of it," said SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Grace Wang. "With a multitude of influential research institutions, supported by the largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country, SUNY is driving positive change across the globe."

Research at SUNY produces more than 100 new technologies every year. SUNY inventors have contributed to some of the most transformative technologies in history, including the heart-lung machine, bar code scanner, MRI, and several FDA-approved therapeutics. Some recent SUNY innovations include:

  • University at Albany is helping law enforcement fight crime by using scattered light to perform microscopic analysis of biological and chemical samples, an approach that allows investigators to immediately confirm the source of biological stains found at crime scenes.
  • Binghamton University may one day cut air conditioning costs dramatically by creating light-filtering dyes that, when applied to glass, block heat while letting light pass through.
  • University at Buffalo is testing a reengineered hormonal treatment for diabetes and obesity. Telemedicine will be used to link children and their families to treatment they would otherwise only have access to in a local office or school.
  • SUNY Downstate Medical Center is working toward a lower-power, more stable alternative to implantable cardioverter defibrillators to re-start the heart. The technology re-purposes a nerve stimulator to use the body's own nervous system to control the heart.
  • SUNY-ESF researchers have developed a "Trojan Horse" to attack cancer cells using special polymers that trick cancer cells into directly ingesting chemotherapeutic drugs so they are destroyed from the inside out, thus reducing damage to normal cells.
  • Upstate Medical University is advancing concussion assessment through a new set of cognitive tests that will help doctors and clinicians properly diagnose and manage concussions.
  • SUNY College at Optometry researchers have suggested that targeting a cell’s communication channels or gap junction could slow the progress of glaucoma.
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institute researchers invented a nanoscale scaffold that mimics the human eye which can help test possible glaucoma drugs and other therapeutics.
  • Stony Brook University redesigned a catheter that incorporates LED lights to reduce the likelihood of infection after the device is inserted into a patient’s body.
About the Research Foundation for SUNY

The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (RF) is the largest comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. It exists to serve the State University of New York (SUNY) by providing essential administrative services that enable SUNY faculty to focus their efforts on the education of students and the performance of life-changing research across a wide range of disciplines including medicine, engineering, physical sciences, energy, computer science, and social sciences. The RF works with the academic and business leadership of SUNY campuses to support research and discovery through administration of sponsored projects and technology transfer and management of intellectual property for public benefit and economic growth. The RF is a private non-profit education corporation. To learn more about the RF, visit

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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