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Arizona State University now ranks in the top 10 of all universities worldwide for U.S. patents awarded in 2018. Two years ago, the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Association listed ASU as 17th in the same report. Since then, ASU earned 130 U.S. patents to join the top tier alongside the University of California, Stanford, MIT and the University of Texas.
This designation is meaningful because it underscores our institutional commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and advancing knowledge that makes a social impact. It also demonstrates the talent within ASU and the world-class work conducted by our researchers, students and Skysong Innovations. We have structured our knowledge enterprise in a way that empowers our community to advance high-potential ideas and technologies, and it is phenomenal to witness the successful realization of their work and dedication at this level.
The ideas and products generated could change the future of energy, medicine and transportation, among other vital needs. I invite you to learn more about the important impact ASU is making on this trajectory.
Last week we announced that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected ASU for a $38.8 million award to develop a new national security tool. The Diagnostic Epigenetics of Infectious Agents and Chemical Toxicity (DEPICT) project will create a field-deployable device capable of determining in 30 minutes or less if a person has been exposed to weapons of mass destruction or their precursors. A transdisciplinary team in the new Translational Center for Molecular Diagnostics will receive the funding over four years to advance this technology, another example of ASU’s growing leadership in the field of molecular diagnostics as related to defense and human health.
In June, an Arizona community team that included members of ASU University Initiatives and Educational Outreach and Student Services won first place and a $1 million grant from Schmidt Futures as part of the Alliance for the American Dream competition. The Alliance’s challenge was to find ways to increase the net income of 10,000 local households by 10%.
Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is linked significantly to degree attainment and subsequent social mobility. Arizona is 49th in the country for FAFSA completion, but “Project Benjamin” aims to change that by using a special chatbot to support FAFSA completion by high school students. The grant funding will help to deploy the project in 15 school districts this month, with the hope that others will follow to help bolster additional student success and community resilience.
As we work to enhance higher education access, it is great to see what can be accomplished through collaboration to move Arizona forward, and I appreciate our partners in realizing this success: College Success Arizona, Be A Leader Foundation, Achieve60AZ, Helios Education Fund, Mesa Public Schools, Maricopa Community Colleges, AzCAN, AdmitHub and the Arizona Commission on Postsecondary Education.
Through a new collaboration between ASU, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and edX, learners can now choose to augment their supply chain microcredential with a full online master’s degree in supply chain management at ASU. Individuals who complete and pass the MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management, and then apply and earn admittance to ASU will now be able to pursue a top graduate degree from the W. P. Carey School of Business and ASU Online. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks MIT and ASU in the top 3 programs for graduate supply chain and logistics.
The new online offering provides highly technical preparation and aims to empower learners for greater workforce competitiveness and flexibility across a wide range of roles and industries. With the aid of edX, our partner in the Global Freshman Academy, the program is designed to offer a smooth online transition between academic programs, giving learners a nimble and affordable option for advancing their education. The new online offering will launch in January 2020, but currently enrolled students or those who have completed the MITx program can apply now.
Looking to the future, the clock speed of higher education will need to accelerate and learning options will need to diversify in order to keep pace with rapidly changing workforce needs. ASU is excited to collaborate with other forward-thinking organizations that recognize these shifts and are ready to advance new solutions. I look forward to sharing more about this and other collaborations in the future.
ASU is one of only nine U.S. institutions to earn the inaugural Seal of Excelencia, a special designation awarded for our strong commitment to and work in support of Latino student success. This distinction is presented by Excelencia in Education, an established Washington, D.C.-based non-profit dedicated to education policy and advocacy that aids the advancement of Latino learners.
Since 2007, Latino student enrollment has doubled at ASU, numbering 15,700 in fall 2018. Latino students comprised 25 percent of our first-year students in 2018.
In line with our charter, ASU sees the critical connection between Latino college attainment and the future vitality of our nation. Building on a long-time legacy of service to the Latino community, we are advancing quality programs and tools designed to help students excel and close the completion gap. By providing guidance in college-going preparedness, access to support networks and opportunities to develop lifelong leadership skills, we are helping our state and our nation move closer to their full potential.