U of G Ranked Most Inventive University in Canada

September 25, 2012 - News Release

The University of Guelph is Canada’s most inventive university, according to a new survey. Guelph ranks No. 1 both in the number of inventions per faculty and in the number of inventions in proportion to research funding.

“This is well-deserved recognition for our faculty and researchers,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research). “It’s a tribute to the excellence of their work and their creativity, innovativeness and skill.”

The survey, conducted by The Impact Group, calculated inventiveness in two ways: number of inventions per full-time faculty and inventions per million dollars of research funding.

Researchers are required to disclose to their institution all ideas emerging from their research with commercial potential.

On average, Guelph researchers produce 0.158 invention disclosures each, or about one disclosure per six faculty positions. That is twice the national average of 0.048. Queen’s University had 0.1 disclosures per faculty; the University of Victoria had 0.097.

Other universities in the top five by faculty are McGill University at 0.071 and École de Technologie Supérieur (0.068).

Guelph also came out on top in cost per invention. U of G researchers produce one invention disclosure for every million dollars of research funding received. That is 50 per cent more than the next-closest university, the University of Victoria, with one invention disclosure per $1.49 million of funding.

Other universities in the top five by income are École de Technologie Supérieur (one invention for every $1.79 million of funding), St. Mary’s University (one per $2.25 million) and the University of Manitoba (one per $2.26 million).

Guelph’s No. 1 ranking in both categories speaks to U of G’s effectiveness at working with industry to turn research into new knowledge and applications, Hall said.

“Not only do we want to make discoveries, but we also want to put those discoveries to use in finding solutions to challenging issues,” he said. “So moving research knowledge out of our classrooms and laboratories and putting it to use to benefit people’s daily lives is our overarching goal.”

He added that Guelph aligns its research with provincial and federal innovation agendas, and works via the Catalyst Centre to link U of G expertise and resources with the research and development needs of industry and entrepreneurs.

“The ranking shows that a medium-sized university with a carefully co-ordinated team can thrive in this environment.”

Nearly all universities must disclose inventions, allowing for equitable comparisons of inventiveness among institutions. Patent applications are a more costly measure that discriminates against lower-funded universities, according to the survey.

The Impact Group, an independent national consulting firm, tracks research activities of Canadian companies, universities and governments. Its sister company, RE$EARCH Infosource, publishes an annual ranking of Canada’s top research universities.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or shiona@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1