Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The first patent received by an HBCU was on April 11, 1978, assigned to Shaw University of Raleigh, NC. Between 1969 and 2012, HBCUs received 100 utility patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in various fields, including energy, advanced manufacturing technology, nanotechnology and breast cancer treatment. Although this is a very small portion of patents issued by the USPTO during that period, the rate at which HBCUs have received patents has increased exponentially in recent years. In 2010, HBCUs received 10 patents; in 2011, 17 patents; and in 2012, 24 patents.