I am pleased to share Arizona State University’s FY 2016 achievements and impacts in research, entrepreneurship and innovation. At ASU, we have designed an ecosystem where discovery thrives. Our robust knowledge enterprise is driven by our commitment to use-inspired research and by diverse faculty who advance knowledge across disciplines to address society’s most pressing challenges.
This year we reached $518 million in research expenditures, maintaining our position as the fastest growing research enterprise among universities with more than $100 million in research expenditures. By expanding our research portfolio, we are increasing the depth and breadth of our research in order to answer big questions and solve real-world problems.
ASU researchers are on the cutting edge of discoveries that have implications for all of us. This year ASU was selected to lead a $450 million NASA Discovery mission to the asteroid Psyche, which will help us understand our own planet’s core. ASU will also play a key role in the Lucy Discovery mission to study a swarm of primitive asteroids near Jupiter. Our scientists developed a low-cost test for the Zika virus and created the world’s first white laser, a development that Popular Science named one of the top breakthroughs of the year. The New York Times and National Geographic featured a study by ASU researchers that found fetal cells migrating across the placenta may manipulate a mother’s body for the child’s benefit, which can both help and harm mom’s health.
Researchers in our newest NSF Engineering Research Center are developing sustainable, resilient solutions to some of our toughest infrastructure challenges. This level of research requires extensive cross-disciplinary teamwork. An ASU psychologist recently led a national committee to improve the effectiveness of collaborative research. Their report, one of the most downloaded articles in the National Academies Press, helps scientists make the most efficient use of their research funding as they confront the world’s toughest challenges.
Our successes are recognized nationally and internationally. For an unprecedented second straight year, ASU was named the most innovative school in the country by U.S. News & World Report, ahead of #2 Stanford and #3 MIT. ASU is where students and faculty work with the Department of Defense to develop microbial fuel cells to power water purification. This is where Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners teach master learners. ASU’s nationally ranked programs inspire the top-qualified graduates, according to professional recruiters and ranking services around the world. This is where next-generation innovators learn to thrive.
We consider each year a new opportunity to apply creative and transdisciplinary thinking to the challenges we face as a society. This report details the exciting growth of our research enterprise over the past year as well as the knowledge, technologies and solutions discovered and created at ASU.
Michael M. Crow
Arizona State University