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Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - Crain's Detroit Business ranks OU as one of 25 most innovative companies in Southeast Michigan

Dr. Xiangqun Zeng is a leader in sensor technology. Read more in OU's Research Magazine.
Oakland University has been cited in a ranking of the 25 most innovative companies in Southeast Michigan by Crain's Detroit Business. Oakland is ranked 23rd in the "Eureka Index," and is the only university that appears in the ranking.

The ranking was determined by analyzing patents that were issued by organizations to identify those that were most innovative. Special mention is in order for Lorenzo Smith from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Hongwei Qu from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and Xiangqun Zeng from the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences. These individuals developed patents in 2013 that were acknowledged for quality and innovation that led to the ranking in Crain's. 

The Crain's article can be found here. To see abstracts of the acquired patents, click here.

"As a doctoral research university, we are committed to research and innovation at Oakland as an integral part of our mission, and the recognition received for innovation through the high-profile work of our faculty speaks to the high quality and impact of our research," said James Lentini, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

OU’s research office works with faculty to bring their discoveries to the marketplace. Through a process called technology transfer, faculty have the option to leverage University resources to patent their ideas.

“Faculty can take advantage of expertise in managing intellectual property, including the patent process and potential commercialization of the technology, that the University is able to provide,” said Dorothy Nelson, Ph.D, vice provost for research.

According to a recent article from the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), benefits to universities in this process include: revenue generation, increased opportunities for funding, promotion of a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, student success, public benefit, and economic development.

It's a win-win, says Nelson. "We all benefit when our faculty make discoveries and earn patents. The faculty member benefits, the University benefits, and the public benefits."

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