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Outsized Impact

CWRU Ranked 13th Among Urban Research Universities Driving Economic Growth

Case Western Reserve University is among the nation's top urban universities translating research breakthroughs into commercial success.

The Brookings Institution's report, "Hidden in plain sight: The oversized impact of downtown universities," finds that leading higher-education institutions in major metropolitan areas dramatically outpace suburban and rural peers in research-related economic activity. On average, these research universities create 71 percent more startups and complete 80 percent more licensing agreements, among other metrics.

Case Western Reserve University ranked 13th overall and came in sixth for the number of patents per 1,000 students (4.1). The university's number of licensing deals (2.7) and new businesses per 1,000 students (0.4) each ranked 13th, while licensing income per student ($155) ranked 26th.

Rockefeller University, a New York City-based institution focused on biomedical research, ranked first overall and in each category, with MIT and Columbia, respectively, second and third.

Other notable rankings: Overall, Georgia Tech was 14th, Harvard University 15th and the University of Chicago 22nd.

The report builds on other research regarding the advantages of urban areas. Cleveland, for example, features not only the university, but also leading hospitals, startup organizations and foundations that support economic development.

The list ranks 33 urban research universities. Others, including many in the University of California system, couldn't be ranked due to insufficient data.

"Of the over 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States, these 33 schools represent some of the most impactful research institutions," the report states. "Together, they create over 220 startups and 1,700 patents each year and represent $800 million in licensing deals. These schools can be considered 'tier one downtown universities.' "

To read the full report, visit brookings.edu and search for "oversized impact."