Dr. Julio Ramirez - U of L research

Julio Ramirez, M.D. (right), chief of the UofL Division of Infectious Diseases (University of Louisville)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- UofL is celebrating its most successful year ever for competitively funded research.

According to a news release, in 2019-20, the university was awarded a record-breaking $170 million. That was an $18 million increase over the previous year. The money was used to train students for technology-related "jobs of tomorrow" and to research and test vaccines at the Pfizer Vaccines Center of Excellence.

The 2019-20 fiscal year was also the best for making money off university technologies. U of L earned $9.4 million from license royalties and other related income -- a 30-percent increase over the year prior.

"One of our goals at UofL is to be a great place to invest, UofL President Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., said in the release. "This is proof-positive that we are succeeding in that goal — that UofL and its research are a strong investment. The work this funding supports has the potential to address the grand challenges of our time: how we empower communities, advance health and engineer the future of work."

The increased income was propelled by a strong year of deals and startups, with seven companies launched. Those startups include BioProducts, a new company commercializing a university technology for producing low-calorie sweetener and bio-coal from spent distillers' grain, and Unitonomy, which is commercializing a tool for measuring employee engagement. Deals included the licensing of a technology believed to block the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, from infecting human cells.

“It’s important for people to know that our research doesn’t end with a manuscript, but with getting our research out into the world where it can have real impact,” Gardner said.

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