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Dartmouth Tops the Ivy League in Nature's 2017 Innovation Index

Aug 10, 2017   |   Dartmouth News

Rankings are based on the number of scientific papers that lead to patents.

Eric Fossum
Dartmouth engineering professor Eric Fossum won the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for his invention of the CMOS image sensor, which revolutionized digital imaging.

Dartmouth ranks highly in a new measure of the impact of academic research on global innovation, according to the Nature Index 2017 Innovation supplement. The index examines how often research articles from top science journals are cited in third-party patents around the world.

Dartmouth ranks 20th among the top 200 institutions surveyed in the index, and is the only Ivy League institution in the top 20. Rankings are based on the number of scientific papers that lead to patents owned by entities other than the university itself.

“It’s a small college, but there are those that cite her,” says Dean Madden, vice provost for research and professor of biochemistry and cell biology at the Geisel School of Medicine. “The nice thing about this methodology is that it focuses on the role of basic research, published in the peer-reviewed literature, as a source of innovation in the long term. Too often, we assume that fundamental and applied research are siloed—papers vs. patents—but they’re not.”

The index aims to help show the social benefits of research. “This analysis comes at a time when following the transfer of scientific knowledge into industry and the economy is a growing priority for governments and research funding agencies—for them, the need to demonstrate that publicly funded science is being used for society’s benefit is paramount,” says David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index.

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