Economic Impact

Assessing Brown’s contributions to the RI Economy

In fulfillment of the Brown mission, faculty, staff, students and alumni contribute to the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of Providence and Rhode Island. Brown tracks these contributions in order to assess the University’s impact, and to identify opportunities for further involvement. In 2012, Brown commissioned Appleseed, Inc. to examine the University’s local economic impact and community involvement.

Among the report findings:

  • Brown University is the fifth-largest private employer in Rhode Island, employing 4,459 people in Spring 2012
  • Brown spent more than $159 million on purchases of goods and services and on construction from Rhode Island firms in fiscal year 2011, directly supporting about 1,050 full-time-equivalent jobs at these companies.
  • Factoring in direct University jobs, employment by Brown's suppliers and contractors, spending by students and visitors and the “multiplier effect,” Brown directly and indirectly accounted for nearly 7,800 Rhode Island jobs in 2011, and $725 million in statewide economic output.
  • Brown paid $23 million to state and local governments in 2012 for income tax withholding, property taxes, payments in lieu of taxes and fees.
  • Brown spent $179 million on research in fiscal year 2012, making the University Rhode Island's leading center of scientific research and development. Almost all of Brown's research is funded by federal agencies or other out-of-state sources.
  • In fiscal year 2012, Brown filed 98 patent applications on technologies first developed at the University, was awarded 15 new patents and entered into 6 licensing or option agreements for commercial use of new technologies developed at Brown.