Ohio State reports record investment in research

mhuson Faculty Awards, General, Grants

New numbers show 2019 was a record-breaking year for research at The Ohio State University.

According to a new analysis from the university’s Office of Research, research expenditures for the 2019 fiscal year were $929 million – an increase of 6.2 percent over fiscal year 2018. The analysis is part of the university’s submission to the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey.

The HERD survey is the primary source of information on research and development expenditures at U.S. colleges and universities. The survey collects information on research and development expenditures by field of research and source of funds and gathers information on types of research, expenses and personnel.

“These numbers are a testament to our world-class faculty’s commitment to our land grant mission in researching areas of critical societal importance,” Morley Stone, senior vice president for research, said. “Thanks to their hard work and dedication, Ohio State is a leading force of innovation and change – locally, nationally, and globally.”

Research and creative expression is a pillar of the university’s 2017 strategic plan.

“Research is fundamental to Ohio State’s land-grant mission,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron. “Throughout the university, Ohio State faculty are working to address society’s most vexing challenges, deepen our breadth of knowledge — and invent a future with new opportunities.”

Some of the top sponsors of Ohio State research include:

  • $241 million from the National Institutes of Health
  • $51 million from the National Science Foundation
  • $39.5 million from the Department of Defense
  • $33.9 million from the Department of Agriculture

The largest growth was in support from NASA, which provided $10 million — a 14.8% increase from the year before.

The university’s record total included $157.9 million in industry-sponsored research in fiscal year 2019 – which also represents an Ohio State record. The university reported $138.9 million in 2018.

This autumn, Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) opened the new Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Lab (AIMS). The AIMS lab was developed with input from industry, national defense and energy laboratories and university experts. The robotics lab taps into the power of artificial intelligence to transform the future of manufacturing.

Earlier this year, the university helped open a new $45 million research park dedicated to developing the newest generation of automated and connected vehicles. The Transportation Research Center’s new Smart Mobility Advance Research Test Center, or SMARTCenter, features the longest and widest data-connected traffic intersection in the industry.

The new survey of research data does not include the largest research grant in university history. In April, Ohio State was awarded a $65.9 million federal research grant to address the opioid epidemic. The university is leading a consortium of academic, state and community partners that aims to reduce overdose deaths by 40 percent over three years as part of the HEALing Communities Study.

The new numbers are part of a series of record successes at Ohio State, including ones related to commercialization of university research. Invention disclosures stood at 418 in fiscal year 2019, the third-straight year over 400. Licensing revenue grew to $8.87 million, also a record.

Ohio State’s active startup portfolio now totals 94 companies, up from 78 last year and nearly double the number from five years ago.


Story by Benjamin Johnson, Ohio State News