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The Penn Center for Innovation, founded in 2014 by Penn President Amy Gutmann, had the most-ever patents issued for Penn and its affiliates in 2021. Credit: Jesse Zhang

The Penn Center for Innovation had the most-ever patents issued for Penn and its affiliates this year, according to the center's 2021 Year in Review.

Founded in 2014 by Penn President Amy Gutmann, the PCI supports Penn-affiliated researchers, students, staff, and faculty to commercialize their ideas and inventions. This year, the PCI saw 142 initiatives it supported earn a United States-issued patent. Penn-affiliated startups also raised the most funds to date at $815 million, according to the review.

The PCI reported 746 commercial agreements executed, one of which was with the multinational automotive manufacturer, Toyota, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. According to the center, Toyota chose the Engineering School to be one of 16 university participants in a $75 million, five-year artificial intelligence research program. In total, the center reported more than $300 million in aggregate licensing revenue from organizations like Toyota, and their use of center-supported products, services, and goods. 

The significant funds raised for startups affiliated with Penn will go to companies such as Neuralert, a start-up founded by Penn professors developing a new approach to monitoring strokes in the human body.

Center-supported organizations filed 734 U.S. patent applications for intellectual property, and 142 patents were issued. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rewarded patents for many innovations, including potentially useful cancer therapy technology.

“I am very proud of the facilitative work that flourishes there and look forward to watching the University build on PCI’s incredible momentum,” Gutmann told Penn Today.