UW News

April 20, 2017

UW ranks seventh in Milken Institute’s ranking of universities for technology transfer and commercialization


The University of Washington ranks seventh among national universities in a new Milken Institute report on technology transfer, “Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer.” The report highlights the vital role research universities play in spurring economic growth.

For the UW and CoMotion, the University’s collaborative innovation hub, the new ranking represents a considerable rise from the original rankings in 2006, when UW was 24th. The report’s authors attribute the UW’s rise, in part, to the restructuring of the commercialization arm to CoMotion in 2015. With its broadened mission, CoMotion has helped the University better integrate within Seattle’s robust innovation ecosystem. In addition to three CoMotion Labs and the MakerSpace, innovation grants and mentorship all aim to foster innovation transfer in a wide range of fields.

The report further highlights the UW’s position as a leading recipient of federal research grants, at more than $1 billion per year. The UW School of Medicine attracted half of the research dollars in 2016, and 27 percent of the start-ups in the CoMotion Labs were in the biotech and health-care field. Information technology and software firms made up 26 percent. Adding to the innovation ecosystem was that UW partners with major local firms on CoMotion initiatives, including Microsoft on the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), and Amazon on the Amazon Catalyst program, which award grants of up to $100,000 to UW innovators who address large, real-world problems.

“With this ranking, we see the importance of supporting and strengthening the UW innovation ecosystem to empower our students, our faculty and our region,” said Vikram Jandhyala, the Executive Director of CoMotion and Vice President for Innovation Strategy at UW. “While we focus on the goals of social impact and economic development, our strategy of adapting to macro effects caused by technology disruption, globalization, and climate change will inform how we provide the best value for our community and society.”

To generate the rankings, the authors compiled data from an Association of University Technology Managers survey to evaluate more than 200 U.S. research institutions according to four key indicators: patents issued, licenses issued, licensing income, and start-ups formed.

The full report is available on the Milken Institute’s website.


About CoMotion at the University of Washington

CoMotion at the University of Washington (UW) is the collaborative innovation hub dedicated to expanding the economic and societal impact of the UW community. By developing and connecting to local and global innovation ecosystems, CoMotion helps innovators achieve the greatest impact from their discoveries. We deliver the tools and connections UW researchers and students need to accelerate the impact of their innovations.


About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs, and improve health. We do this through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings, and meaningful policy initiatives.

About the Center for Jobs and Human Capital

The Center for Jobs and Human Capital promotes prosperity and sustainable economic growth around the world by increasing the understanding of the dynamics that drive job creation and promote industry expansion. Our research develops innovative, implementable economic and policy solutions that provide stakeholders with the tools to create jobs and improve access to capital.



Donna O’Neill
Marketing & Communications
CoMotion at University of Washington
p: 206.685.9972
f: 206.543.0586
e: donnao3@uw.edu