Oct. 21, 1998 Writer: Joseph Kays
Source: M. Jack Ohanian, (352) 392-1582
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- The University of Florida's research enterprise grew about 10 percent to a record $280 million in awards during fiscal year 1997-98, according to recently released figures.
UF also posted an 8 percent increase in research expenditures, an important indicator of research performance. That, combined with record growth in the university's biggest units — the Health Science Center, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering — helped maintain UF's position in the upper echelon of public universities.
"The credit for the university's success goes to our faculty, who continue to have an excellent track record in nationally competitive awards," said M. Jack Ohanian, UF's interim vice president for research.
UF President John Lombardi also welcomed the latest figures.
"The current performance of our faculty, students and staff in reaching this level of success demonstrates a remarkable return on the investments made in this university over the years," he said. "Reaching this standard of achievement is a cause for celebration and renewed commitment."
Federal research makes up more than half of UF's total, with $159.7 million, including a record $59 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a 15 percent increase over last year. National Science Foundation funding rose 33 percent to a record $22.4 million.
Much of the NIH funding goes to UF's Health Science Center, which saw its funding increase 9 percent from $123 million last year to a record $134.2 million this year. The College of Medicine accounted for $104.2 million of that total.
The record funding from the National Science Foundation helped boost the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to its own record of $28.6 million, up 12 percent from $25.5 million last year.
Awards to the College of Engineering were up almost 23 percent to a record $40.2 million, thanks to significant increases in funding from federal agencies, private corporations and foundations.
Research support from industry continues to thrive at UF, up nearly 18 percent from last year's record of $31.5 million to $37.3 million.
"This significant increase demonstrates that our industry partners recognize the value of University of Florida research to the future success of their businesses," Ohanian said.
Annual income from the university's technology licensing operation reached $19.1 million in FY 1997-98, thanks to the continued success of products such as Trusopt, a glaucoma drug developed at UF and licensed to the pharmaceutical giant Merck, and Gatorade, the nation's leading sports drink.
According to the most recent rankings from the National Science Foundation, UF ranked 12th in total research-and-development spending among public universities in the prestigious Association of American Universities.
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