Research and Commercialization Overview

The UAA Research and Commercialization trend is upward. UAA is experiencing significant growth in research, creative works, and commercialization. We are pursuing a strategic approach to fostering, supporting, and expanding faculty and student research efforts and commercialization by creating a climate of innovation and collaboration.

Total grant awards have been increasing. Since 2013 external funding has increased by 23%. In FY 16 total grant awards increased to $40.2M up from $38M in FY15. (Ref Graph 1). Expenditures are also up.

Trend: UAA Research External FundingFY15 Federal Awards ChartGraph 1 - Trend: UAA Research External Funding
Chart 1 - FY15 Federal Awards

The Win rate for FY16 to date is 38%, which is significantly above the national average of 25% for the same federal agencies (Ref. Chart 1). In addition, the Innovate Awards have a 3:1 return on research investment with a Win rate in external funding of 49% which is 2.5 times above the national average for others applying to the same federal agencies listed (Ref. agencies in Chart 1).

The Patent Portfolio is Experiencing Dramatic GrowthSince FY11, the number of invention disclosures has increased to 45 up from 2 in FY11. To monetize the invention disclosures, UAA has increased the number of patent applications filed to 42, up from 1 in FY11 and 8 patents have been  issued, up from 0 in FY11. UAA has formed four startup companies Zensor, CFT Solutions, Cogniceutic Solutions, and Rhizoform.

Special News! University Demo Day UAA’s newest company – Rhizoform -  Wins “Best University Startup.”



The Vice Provost for Research submitted the UAA startups for a national competition. In this national competition among 200 university startups - Rhizoform won “Best University Startup,” and participated in University Startup Demo Day at Congress. This event included a pitch to venture firms and corporations held at the Rayburn Building, meetings with our Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and Congressman Young, and a demo/trade show in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Building..

Alaskan Congressman Don Young and Rhizform, Sept 2016

Congressman Don Young, Dr. Helena Wisniewski, and Dr. Philippe Amstislavski at University Demo Day, September 20, 2016.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and Rhizoform, Sept 2016

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski, and Dr. Philippe Amstislavski at University Demo Day, September 20, 2016

Senator Dan Sullivan and Rhizoform, Sept 2016

Senator Dan Sullivan, Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski, and Dr. Philippe Amstislavski at University Demo Day, September 20, 2016


Centers and Institutes at UAA

Centers and Institutes at the University of Alaska Anchorage are devoted to special concerns and opportunities associated with northern populations. The State's vast resources and challenges unique to Alaska are central to their sponsored programs and research. The Centers and Institutes address concerns of Anchorage and Alaskan communities as well as those related to the national and international community. This is a list of Institutes and Centers that support UAA's mission in coordination with our colleges and schools.

  • The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)   enhances the well-being of Alaskans and others through non-partisan research that helps people understand social and economic systems and supports informed public and private decision-making. ISER is Alaska's oldest public policy research organization, founded soon after Alaska became a state. ISER maintains the state's largest economic database and forecasts population and employment growth.

  • Environment and Natural Resources Institute (ENRI) is a premier research unit with state-of-the-art research space. ENRI has initiatives in Ecosystem Studies and Conservation Biology, Earth and Climate Processes, and Human Ecology and Coupled Human-Environment Interactions.  The Alaska State Climate Center (ASCC)also falls under the purview of ENRI.

  • Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies (ICHS) provides support and coordination for health research, information and training. Working closely with faculty throughout the University of Alaska system, ICHS provides technical assistance and support to increase the capacity within the state to address the health needs of all Alaskans. The Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies was created by the Alaska State Legislature in 1988 (AS 14.40.088) to develop new solutions to health problems in Alaska and the north. The Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) is also housed within ICHS.

  • Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services (CBHRS)   is a workgroup of researchers, providers, and educators that is dedicated to the behavioral and physical health of all members of our community. The Center provides a variety of services that are helpful to care providers, administrators, and policy makers in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, physical health, and criminal justice.

  • Biomedical Program - WWAMI Medical School is a collaborative medical school among universities in five northwestern states (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) and the University of Washington School of Medicine. The Alaska WWAMI Program began at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (as WAMI) in 1971. The program moved to the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1989. 

  • The UAA Justice Center, established by the Alaska legislature in 1975, has a mandate to provide statewide justice-related education, research and service.  The Justice Center is an interdisciplinary unit that provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional education; conducts research in the areas of crime, law, and justice; and provides service to government units, justice agencies, and community organizations throughout urban and rural Alaska to promote a safe, healthy, and just society.  The Justice Center publishes the Alaska Justice Forum, a research journal focusing on justice and legal issues in Alaska. The Center houses the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) and the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC)

  • Alaska Geriatric Education Center (AKGEC)   was established in 2003 with funding from the Health Resources and Service Administration's Bureau of Health Professions; the national network of GECs is supported by the National Association of Geriatric Education Centers. AKGEC is developing geriatric training opportunities and curriculum that celebrates Alaska's unique history and cultural diversity. The Center works closely with the National Resource Center for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian Elders and is developing several training modules focusing on Alaska Native Elder issues. AKGEC is also working closely with the Stanford Geriatric Education Center to collaborate on training and curriculum development.

  • Alaska Center for Rural Health - Alaska's AHEC (ACRH) was created in 1987 by rural health care providers, educators, and administrators. The AHEC enables Alaska to institutionalize a statewide university-industry partnership focused on strengthening our health workforce.

  • Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free consulting services and low-cost educational programs to entrepreneurs interested in starting or growing their small business. The Alaska SBDC business advisors work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-on-one sessions in the areas of management, marketing, sales, finance, accounting and other disciplines required for small business growth, expansion and innovation.

  • Center for Addressing Health Disparities through Research and Education (CAHDRE) is the new National Institutes in Health Exploratory Center of Excellence that is coalescing health pathway programs to maximize their value and to catalyze the creation of new programs.  Goals of the Center include: 1) collaborating with others to encourage and support students, especially those from underrepresented minorities into health careers; 2) informing students and faculty about health disparity issues in Alaska; 3) assisting health students to develop skills in assessing and using evidence to improve their practice; 4) mentoring students interested in pursuing careers in health research; and 5) infusing an orientation toward exploration from elementary through post secondary years.


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