Researchers at the University of Central Florida received $133.4 million in research funds during the past fiscal year.
The funding totals reflect a rise in federal funding over the previous year, from $72.2 million to $74.2 million, and a continued national affirmation of UCF’s strengths in research and innovation. Researchers also received $47.5 million from industry sources and $11.7 from the state and local governments.
“Our biggest strength continues to be the diligence of our faculty,” said MJ Soileau, vice president for the Office of Research & Commercialization. “The fact that our efforts are being recognized in national rankings is the result of years of persistence and vision by researchers across the university.”
For example, in the past month UCF was ranked as the nation’s 13th most innovative university by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2016 guide,
Researchers at the College of Engineering & Computer Science received more funding than any other college or center – $24.4 million – a 6 percent increase over last year. Funded projects include establishment of the Multi-functional Integrated System Technology Center with the University of Florida to improve the development of “smart” systems that connect data and devices to the internet, analysis of real-time traffic data along interstates 4 and 75 to help protect drivers in foggy conditions, and a partnership with researchers in Ireland to monitor the condition and safety of bridges.
The Institute for Simulation and Training received $15.5 million, a large portion of which came from the Department of Defense for development of methods to train and protect soldiers through simulation.
The College of Optics & Photonics received $14.7 million, including $1 million from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program for state-of-the-art equipment to produce the world’s shortest laser pulses. UCF holds the world record, established in 2012, for generating a pulse of 67 quintillionths of a second.
UCF received 57 patents during the fiscal year and was ranked in the top 30 worldwide in the latest survey by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association for universities granted U.S. patents.
The fiscal year ended with 29 researchers who received $1 million or more in funding.
UCF also was awarded two grants totaling just under $750,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to help grow the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Central Florida. The College of Engineering & Computer Science and community partners raised an additional $750,000 to supplement the grants.
“We are working with partners and industry to make Central Florida an epicenter for innovation, technology and entrepreneurship,” said Thomas O’Neal, associate vice president of the Office of Research & Commercialization and the leader of many of the university’s innovation initiatives.