Austin, Texas is, by means of several metrics, considered one of the most innovative cities in the world. Known as the Silicon Hills region, it was ranked second (just after the Silicon Valley) in Forbes’ list of America’s Most Innovative Cities in 2010, with about 2,900 patents registered by its residents (second-most per-capita of any metro area in the U.S.). With an annual ratio of 1.7 patents for every thousand residents, Austin’s culture of innovation is boosted by the presence of a significant number of technology companies (Dell, IBM, Freescale Semiconductor, etc.), and by countless technology startups that are constantly being created. It is home for a wide array of successful entrepreneurs and is praised for its creativity in hosting South-by-Southwest (SXSW), the largest yearly startup, film, media, and music festival in the world. Yahoo Finance considered Austin as the 3rd fastest growing city and Kiplinger ranked it as the best city for the next decade in 2010.
The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is a major research university home to more than 50,000 students, 2,900 faculty and 21,000 staff members. With more than 3,500 research projects, 90 research units and annual research funding exceeding $640 million, The University of Texas at Austin is one of the nation’s leading public research universities. More than 400 patents have been awarded to the university since its inception. Licensing deals generated more than $25 million in FY 2010-2011 for the university. The university is annually ranked among the country’s very best public research universities and many of its colleges, schools and departments are considered among the finest in the nation. The Times of London, in a 2004 survey of colleges and universities around the world, ranked The University of Texas at Austin the 15th-best university in the world. Among Texas colleges and universities, The University of Texas at Austin is ranked No. 1 in 30 of the 37 fields in which it was evaluated. UT Austin is the flagship university of the University of Texas System, which includes nine universities and six health science centers. The University of Texas System conducts over $1.5 billion in sponsored research annually.
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