The knowledge economy

Brown releases economic impact report

November 19, 2012  |  Media Contact: Darlene Trew Crist |  401-863-2752
Kick-starting the knowledge economy - With $178.9 million spent on research and 98 new technology patents filed last year, academic research at Brown is a leader in developing the knowledge economy.Pre-dawn photo of Brown and Providence by Mike Cohea/Brown University.
Kick-starting the knowledge economy With $178.9 million spent on research and 98 new technology patents filed last year, academic research at Brown is a leader in developing the knowledge economy.
Pre-dawn photo of Brown and Providence by Mike Cohea/Brown University.
A report released today by Brown University outlines Brown’s contributions to the local economy, including to the development of the knowledge-based economy through its nearly $180-million investment in research, patent generation, and startup creation. The report was commissioned by Brown University and prepared by Appleseed Inc. of New York City.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University today released a report that provides an overview of the University’s economic impact on the State of Rhode Island. The report details Brown’s stimulus of the local economy through its direct and indirect employment, spending, research activities, and development of human capital.

Building Rhode Island’s Knowledge Economy: The Economic Impact of Brown University, November 2012 finds that Brown spent more than $178.9 million on research in fiscal year 2012, helping to create the knowledge and ideas needed to spur economic growth. The report also details how Brown faculty, students, and staff are translating knowledge and discovery into new technologies, products, processes, services, and businesses.

“Research, innovation, and creativity are essential components to strengthening Rhode Island’s economy,” said Brown President Christina Paxson. “This report illustrates that Brown has an important role to play in economic growth, and we look forward to working with our city, state, and private industry partners to advance our shared agenda.”

In addition to being the state’s fifth-largest employer, with Rhode Island residents making up 81 percent of its 4,459 employees, and generating significant economic activity through construction activity and direct student and visitor spending, Brown makes the following contributions to the overall effort to develop a knowledge-based economy in Providence, according to the report:

  • Research. Brown spent $178.9 million on research in fiscal year 2012 — an increase of nearly 29 percent since fiscal year 2009 — making Brown Rhode Island’s leading center of scientific research and development.
  • Patents and licenses. In fiscal year 2012, Brown filed 98 patent applications on technologies first developed at Brown, was awarded 15 new patents, entered into six licensing or option agreements for commercial use of new technologies developed at Brown, and received nearly $1.6 million in licensing revenue.
  • Startups. A minimum of 25 new Rhode Island-based startups had their genesis at Brown, creating 450 jobs.
  • Facilities. Of the $131.5 million spent on construction in 2011, nearly $90 million was devoted to medical and research facilities, resulting in 208,000 square feet of new or renovated space and creating 705 full-time equivalent jobs.

“Brown is Providence’s major-league franchise, and the University’s successful development as an internationally renowned research university is a driving force in our efforts to create jobs, attract investments, and grow Rhode Island’s capital city into a regional hub of the 21st-century knowledge economy,” said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

Added Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, “Brown helps strengthen Rhode Island’s effort to build and sustain a knowledge-driven economy. Its academic research and development, patents issued, and educational attainment are some of the key drivers for which Rhode Island’s performance ranks within the top 20 states for current innovation capacity.”

The report can be read at brown.edu/about/reports/economic-impact/, where it is also available for download (pdf).

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.