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The Wistar Institute One of Nation’s Top 3 Research Institutions for Innovation

PHILADELPHIA — (OCTOBER 24, 2022) — The Wistar Institute, a leader in biomedical breakthroughs headquartered in Philadelphia, is one of the nation’s top drivers of innovation, research, and tech transfer toward a stronger economy, according to the recently released Research to Renewal report by Heartland Forward., an institute for economic renewal.

Wistar ranks third in the nation in the October 2022 report From Research to Renewal, Part 2: States Realizing the Potential of Research Institutions, which tracks technology transfers from both state university systems and research institutions. 

“Wistar’s singular focus on innovative research to tackle some of the most destructive diseases and viruses has yielded incredible advances and continues tradition of collaboration and discovery across generations of scientists,” said Dario C. Altieri, M.D., Wistar president and chief executive officer. “A culture that fosters collaboration is key to Wistar’s success as a discovery engine.”

Wistar ranked 91.4 out of 100 on the innovation report based on five metrics related to technology transfer, including licenses and options issues, gross licensing income, invention disclosures, startups formed and unique citing patents. The findings substantiate that strategic investment in scientific and technological innovation, synergy across research institutions and efficient technology transfer practices are key in building stronger economies.

Innovation, synergy and tech transfer “too important to go unmeasured”

According to the report, strategic investment in scientific and technological innovation, synergy across research institutions and efficient technology transfer practices are key in building stronger economies. Technology transfers – or sharing the results of research that leads to innovation – are considered an important component of a state’s innovative ecosystem.  Private research institutions, such as Wistar, are often cited in patent filings, are valuable sources of new inventions with commercial potential, are considered regional assets that contribute to research transfer.

Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, the Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine and immunotherapy development. Wistar’s nearly 300 scientists in 35 labs representing 20 countries have led the way on some of the world’s most important biomedical breakthroughs, treatments, and vaccines – including vaccines for rabies, rubella, and rotavirus.

“The ability of American universities and research institutes to transfer technology to the commercial sphere is simply too important to go unmeasured,” the report authors note. “No matter how much money is spent on research and development, society will not benefit unless there are tangible outcomes. The American system of innovation is predicated on partnerships between research institutions and industry to maintain an internally competitive edge.”

The report’s authors recommend several key opportunities based on findings, including:

  • Renewing the promise of innovation-driven economic growth in the United States through investments in scientific and technological innovation; and
  • Strategically investing in and deploying resources to create entrepreneurial ecosystems aimed at commercializing the results of scientific research through technology transfer.

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The Wistar Institute, wistar.org, the first independent, nonprofit, private, biomedical research institution in the U.S. marshals the talents of an international team of outstanding scientists through a highly enabled culture of biomedical collaboration and innovation, to solve some of the world’s most challenging and important problems in the field of cancer, immunology, and infectious diseases, and produce groundbreaking advances in world health. Consistent with a pioneering legacy of leadership in not-for-profit biomedical research and a track record of life-saving contributions in immunology and cell biology, Wistar scientists pursue new and courageous research paths to life science discovery, and to accelerate the impact of early-stage discoveries by shortening the path from bench to bedside. 

Heartland Forward is a non-partisan, non-profit think-and-do-tank focused on improving economic performance in the center of the United States. It’s research institutions category includes hospitals, private research institutions and government-owned contractor-operated labs, plus government-owned and government-operated labs. See the full list here.

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