The meaning of Georgia Tech’s motto, “Progress and Service,” can be seen in world-class education for students, solutions to the most critical global challenges, and growth for Georgia’s economy.
Georgia Tech’s direct economic impact on the state totaled $3.3 billion in 2018, accounting for 27,000 jobs in the metro Atlanta area alone. Through campus and online programs, Georgia Tech serves more than 36,000 students, and in 2018, conferred more than 7,000 graduate and undergraduate degrees. Among undergraduate degree recipients surveyed in 2018, 84% reported having a job at graduation – and their average starting salary was $72,000.
During fiscal 2019, research, economic development, and other sponsored activities attracted more than a billion dollars in new grants, contracts and other awards from federal government agencies, companies, private organizations, and other sources. This growth allowed Georgia Tech to take on truly significant research challenges involving multiple disciplines and teams of researchers with specialized expertise.
Among recent projects is a $21.9 million award to develop new techniques for battling a potential flu pandemic. In another example, Georgia Tech received $13.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reinvent the toilet, a project that could improve sanitation for 2.5 billion people worldwide. A $25 million project will advance the ability to store archival data in synthetic DNA.
Through the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Georgia Tech tackles complex national defense, homeland security and related challenges. GTRI employs more than 2,400 engineers, scientists and support staff working in disciplines ranging from autonomous systems and cybersecurity to modeling and simulation, sensors, and systems engineering.
Solving critical research challenges is just one part of Georgia Tech’s innovation pipeline. Research often leads to discoveries that can become the basis for new products and new industries. To create new jobs and economic growth, Georgia Tech licenses technology developed in its labs to existing companies and startups. During 2019, Georgia Tech filed 87 U.S. patent applications and executed 55 licenses for the use of intellectual property. Overall, more than 300 startup companies have been created from Georgia Tech discoveries.
The Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) is Georgia Tech’s chief economic development arm and in 2018 served nearly 11,000 businesses, communities, and entrepreneurs. Through that work, EI2 programs helped clients create or save 16,000 jobs, secure more than $2.3 billion in contracts and sales, and attract nearly a half-billion dollars in startup capital investments.
In addition to its impact on safety, quality of life, and economic prosperity, Georgia Tech’s research program benefits students by providing real-world experience. In 2019, approximately 4,000 students worked in the research program as graduate research assistants, while another 2,400 students participated in undergraduate research, supplementing classroom, laboratory, and other educational activities.