The back of a CWRU male student's head with wires; the student is holding up his hand and a screen in front of him shows a computer-generated graphic of his hand

CWRU among best in the country for commercialization of research

New Brookings Institution report highlights advantages of urban universities in research-related economic activity

Case Western Reserve ranked 13th in the country—ahead of Harvard, Georgia Tech, and the University of Chicago—in a new study of research universities’ effectiveness in translating research breakthroughs into commercial success.

“This result is a testament to the dedication and creativity of our faculty, as well as the efforts of our Technology Transfer Office and leadership of Vice President for Research Suzanne Rivera,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “I congratulate them all, and look forward to still more innovation that benefits our world.”

The Brookings Institution’s “Hidden in plain sight: The oversized impact of downtown universities” finds that leading higher education institutions located within major metropolitan areas dramatically outpace suburban and rural peers in research-related economic activity. On average, these research universities create 71 percent more start-ups and complete 80 percent more licensing agreements, among other metrics. Rockefeller University, a New York City-based institution focused on biomedical research, ranked first overall and in every category, with MIT and Columbia respectively second and third overall.

Meanwhile, Case Western Reserve ranked 13th overall, but stood at sixth for its number of patents per 1,000 students, at 4.1. Its licensing deals (2.7) and new businesses per 1,000 students (0.4) each ranked 13th, while it fell to 26th for licensing income per student, at $155. Overall, Harvard was 15th, Georgia Tech 14th and the University of Chicago 22nd.

The report builds on earlier research regarding the advantages of urban areas that include leading research universities, entrepreneurs, independent inventors and companies eager to support their efforts. Cleveland, for example, features not only the university, but also leading hospitals, start-up organizations and foundations with interest in supporting economic development.

Companies that have emerged from research projects at Case Western Reserve include Thermalin, which this fall completed $17 million in new financing, and Rodeo Therapeutics, which drew nearly $6 million this summer. Two years ago, CardioInsight—then a company to whom Case Western Reserve licensed technology developed on campus in 2006—was sold to Medtronic in a transaction valued at about $93 million.

To read the full report, visit