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NAI Fellows inducted by USPTO's Andrew Faile

NAI conference at the USPTO featured keynote address by Stanford's Stephen Quake

By: Judy Lowry
NAI News

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Mar. 13, 2014) – U.S. Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile inducted the 2013 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors at the NAI's 3rd annual conference, held for the first time at the headquarters of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Mar. 6-7, 2014.

"Invention and entrepreneurship are the backbone of America's innovation economy," said Stephen Hsu, vice president for research and graduate studies at Michigan State University and a 2013 NAI Fellow. "I'm very enthusiastic about an entity such as the NAI that recognizes and furthers this important activity."

Approximately 250 inventors and academic leaders attended the conference, which featured presentations and panels by more than 35 distinguished scientists and innovators and included a keynote address by Stephen Quake of Stanford University, winner of the Lemelson-MIT Prize, member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Institute of Medicine (IOM), and newly inducted Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized this way," said Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for research and engagement at the University of Tennessee. "The academy has many talented inventors and innovators committed to translating discovery into societal benefit. We are seeing this culture flourish here at the University of Tennessee."

Faile and Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI, presented the 2013 class of Fellows with trophies, certificates and rosette pins honoring their accomplishments as inventors at a ceremony held Mar. 7, 2014, in the USPTO Auditorium. More than 80 of the 143 top scientists and innovation leaders elected as 2013 Fellows were in attendance. The names and institutions of all NAI Fellows are on permanent display at the USPTO.

In his keynote address to the Fellows, Faile noted that "the future of innovation in America is indeed bright."

“The NAI is an organization the United States Patent and Trademark Office counts as a close friend,” said Faile. “Since the inception of the NAI, our two organizations have maintained a close relationship. We can depend on the NAI as a strong supporter of intellectual property rights and of the mission of the USPTO to promote and protect innovation.”

“Organizations like the NAI are extremely important to the way the USPTO does business,” said Faile.  “The USPTO would like the NAI to continue to serve as a key university liaison on academic innovation.”

With the induction of the 2013 class, there are now 244 NAI Fellows worldwide, representing 121 universities and non-profit research institutes.  Included in the 2013 class are 26 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 69 members of the National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM), five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, two recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, nine Nobel Laureates, five Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, and 23 AAAS Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.

"I am deeply honored to receive this distinction with incredibly inventive colleagues from here at Harvard University and across the country," said David Edwards, professor at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Nominations for 2014 Fellows will open Jul. 1, 2014, and can be submitted online through Nov. 1, 2014, at Academyofinventors.org/nomination-info.asp. The 2014 Fellows will be inducted by U.S. Commissioner for Patents Margaret A. Focarino at the 2015 NAI Annual Conference, which will be held at the California Institute of Technology, Mar. 19-20, 2015.  Caltech is a Charter Member Institution of the NAI.

"I was really pleased to hear that I had been elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors," said Hameed Naseem, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas and a 2013 Fellow. "This recognition is a great honor for me, as all my academic life I have emphasized awakening the 'inventor spirit' in my graduate students.”

"The 2013 NAI Fellows and their creative accomplishments showcase the continued excellence of academic innovation and invention," said Sanberg. “Their work has brought great benefit to the world and we are proud to honor them as Fellows.”

The printed Conference and Fellows Programs are available at Academyofinventors.org/conference/program.asp.  A full listing of the Fellows is here: Academyofinventors.org/search-fellows.asp. Invited papers from the conference will be published in the NAI journal Technology and Innovation.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI offices are located in the USF Research Park in Tampa. The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY). Academyofinventors.org



Top 100 Universities for Patenting Announced

The NAI and IPO released the list of the Top 100 universities worldwide granted U.S. patents

By: Lauren Golin
NAI News

TAMPA, Fla. (December 16, 2013) – The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) today announced the Top 100 Worldwide Universities granted U.S. patents in 2012. The list, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the important role patents play in university research.

The NAI and IPO compiled the list by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during 2012 which list a university as the first assignee on the printed patent.

The IPO also publishes the annual Top 300 Patent Owners list of organizations that received the most U.S. utility patents during the year. It has been published by the IPO for 30 consecutive years.

“We are pleased to release this list of the top innovation universities in the world in conjunction with the IPO,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI. “Innovation based on university technology has proven to be a key factor in worldwide industrial and economic development. In the 21st century, the support, encouragement and development of technology and innovation are fundamental to the success of a university.”

Since the enactment in 1980 of the U.S. legislation known as the Bayh-Dole Act, which permits a university to elect to pursue ownership of an invention, the number of patents held by universities in the United States has increased. This, Sanberg says, has led to more licensing income and royalties for inventors, better funding opportunities as a result of wider research collaborations, and an increasingly entrepreneurial academic culture.

"Patents encourage innovation and can promote industrial research funding and commercialization by providing corporations the incentive to invest in university research projects,” said IPO Executive Director Herbert C. Wamsley. “The commercialization of these innovations transfers cutting-edge research to the commercial marketplace, generating revenue and diversifying the economy.”

“University inventors are the discoverers and creators of new solutions to existing problems, and, as such, are key contributors to the advancement of technology,” said Sanberg. “Protection of this intellectual property, through the patenting process, underpins the creation of new industries and employment.”

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI headquarters are located in the University of South Florida Research Park in Tampa. Fla. The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY). www.academyofinventors.org

About the IPO

Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), established in 1972, is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. IPO is the only association in the U.S. that serves all intellectual property owners in all industries and all fields of technology. IPO advocates for effective and affordable IP ownership rights and provides a wide array of services to members, including: supporting member interests relating to legislative and international issues; analyzing current IP issues; information and educational services; and disseminating information to the general public on the importance of intellectual property rights. www.ipo.org

The information provided in this list is based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Patents reported are utility patents granted during the 2012 calendar year. When a patent is assigned to one or more entities, credit is given to the first named entity. For inquiries or if you have a research foundation that should be combined with your university assignment in the future, contact: aturley@academyofinventors.org

Media Contact: April Turley, National Academy of Inventors, aturley@academyofinventors.org, 813-974-7921



NAI Announces 2013 Elected Fellows

Academic inventors and innovators elected to high honor

By: Judy Lowry
NAI Communications

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2013) — The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named 143 innovators to NAI Fellow status, representing 94 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

Collectively, the new Fellows hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.

Included in the 2013 class are 26 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 69 members of the National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM), five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, two recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, nine Nobel Laureates, five Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 23 AAAS Fellows, and 23 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions. 

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted by the Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Andrew Faile, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), during the 3rd Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, on Mar. 7, 2014, in Alexandria, Va., at the USPTO headquarters. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.  A plaque listing the name and institution of each NAI Fellow will be on permanent display at the USPTO.

"The USPTO and the NAI work closely together to promote innovation and support inventors," said Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino, U.S. Commissioner for Patents.  “The NAI Fellows program is a great opportunity to honor our nation’s outstanding inventors.”

The NAI Charter Fellows will be recognized with a full page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education on Jan. 17, 2014, and in upcoming issues of Inventors Digest and Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

“Selection as an NAI Fellow is a high honor,” said Anne Chasser, former U.S. Commissioner for Trademarks at the USPTO and chair of the NAI Fellows Selection Committee.  “The Fellows have made outstanding contributions to innovation and discovery, in ways that have had a significant impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”

The 2013 NAI Fellows Selection Committee was comprised of 13 members including NAI Charter Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of University Technology Managers, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

"The 2013 NAI Fellows and their creative accomplishments showcase the continued excellence of academic innovation and invention," said NAI President Dr. Paul R. Sanberg.  “Their work has brought great benefit to the world and we are proud to honor them as Fellows.”

The complete list of NAI Fellows can be found here: http://academyofinventors.com/search-fellows.asp.



NAI and NCET2 sign MOU

Innovation-focused organizations will collaborate to promote invention and entrepreneurship

By: Judy Lowry
NAI Communications

TAMPA, Fla.–The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

The agreement provides a formal basis for the two organizations to collaborate on educational activities and outreach on the value and importance of innovation and patents, and to recognize and support inventors affiliated with academic, federal, and nonprofit research institutions. The MOU provides for the organizations to be Association Partners and actively participate in each one's annual meetings.

"We are delighted to join with NCET2 as we work together to raise the stature of inventors and invention in the United States," said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the National Academy of Inventors, and senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida.

Sanberg will deliver a keynote address at NCET2's 7th annual University Startups Showcase and Conference, to be held Mar. 20-22, 2013, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The NAI is an Association Sponsor of the meeting.

"The University Startups Conference is a unique best practices conference series dedicated to creating and funding globally-competitive, venture-backable university startups," said Tony Stanco, executive director of NCET2. "We bring together universities creating startups with VCs, angel investors, SBIR program managers and Global 1000 companies funding them."

This year's conference, entitled "Corporate Venture Capital and University Startups: An Open Innovation Paradigm," focuses on "Getting Your University Startup Funded."

The conference will feature two innovations this year:

On Mar. 21, the Corporate Reverse Showcase will give participants the opportunity to hear from major Global 1000 companies as they talk about technologies and strategic alliances they seek from university startup creation officials and university startup entrepreneurs. It is intended to provide an efficient and productive model for Global 1000 companies to find exactly what they are looking for from the $35 billion in annual federally funded research and over 600 university startups created at universities each year.
On Mar. 22, the University Startups & SBIR Company Showcase will highlight university startups and SBIR companies designated as among the "very best" by NCET2. The showcase has been specifically created to catalyze transactions with the Global 1000, VCs, angel investors and SBIR program managers at the conference. Annually, universities receive $35 billion from the federal government to conduct cutting-edge research from which universities create approximately 600 university startups each year.

"One of the goals of the conference is to create long-term relationships between the universities and either users of university inventions or funders of university startups," said Stanco. "The audience, which includes VCs, angel investors, corporate scouts, and high-level university officials with responsibility for commercialization and startup creation, is comprised of knowledgeable practitioners who are generally qualified to be on the stage themselves (and many of them have been before)."

For more information on the conference, go to http://ncet2.org or email support@ncet2.org.

About the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer

NCET2 is an organization of entrepreneurial universities creating and funding university startups. NCET2 promotes best practices in the creation and funding of university startups by supporting entrepreneurship and providing entrepreneurial education. NCET2 connects investors, economic development organizations, public and private funds and tech transfer professionals in building communities of innovation at universities. NCET2 provides an annual conference for innovation stakeholders to share experiences and create a constructive dialog on how to best work together.



Leading Innovation

Top inventors from around the world gather for the National Academy of Inventors Conference at the University of South Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (Mar. 5, 2013)— Nearly 200 renowned inventors and innovators from more than 60 universities, research institutes and governmental agencies worldwide gathered recently for the second annual meeting of the National Academy of Inventors, held at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. 

A highlight of the event was the induction by Margaret Focarino, U.S. Commissioner for Patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), of the NAI Charter Fellows—101 top scientists and innovation leaders from 56 research universities and non-profit research institutes, who collectively hold over 3,200 patents.  Almost half of the Fellows were in attendance to be inducted and receive a trophy, rosette pin and certificate. 

Focarino held up a plaque engraved with the names and institutions of the fellows and described how the plaque will hang at the USPTO and each subsequent year a plaque listing the name and institution of each NAI Fellow will be on display at the USPTO federal building in Alexandria, Virginia.

The NAI Charter Fellows and their institutions were also recognized in the Congressional Record of the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 28, 2013, in an Extension of Remarks by Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis.

Elizabeth Dougherty, USPTO director of Inventor Education, Outreach & Recognition, hailed the NAI as an organization that can “help to shape new policies, ones that offer new opportunities for students but also respect the longstanding and important research and development endeavors that universities support and rightfully retain control over.”

“Universities that encourage intellectual property by opening the doors immediately to inventorship will be the ones that attract the greatest talent,” she said.

The meeting featured presentations by experts in science, technology, invention and commercialization, who shared research and insights on topics ranging from new disruptive technologies such as wireless technology used in medical applications and the process of moving technology from the lab to the market, to the Affordable Care Act and its potential impact on drug development and “tech transfer from Saturn to your cell phone.” 

Robert Langer, the acclaimed MIT chemical engineer who has over 800 patents and is one of only three Americans to have won both the United States National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, challenged an audience that included students and seasoned inventors to “find a way that works” in bringing their inventions to market, regardless of skeptics.

In a keynote address that preceded the NAI Fellows induction, Focarino described how the USPTO has undergone “a renaissance in the past few years” with the passage and implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA), which aligns the U.S. patent system with the rest of the world. 

The goal of the AIA, said Focarino, is for “any inventor, particularly those here in the U.S., to be able to protect his or her invention throughout the world.”  She discussed how the USPTO is working to prevent the theft of intellectual property and subsequent reverse engineering of American technology that is then patented and sold in other parts of the world.

“Would Thomas Edison Receive Tenure?”

A lively forum on changing the academic culture of tenure and promotion featured five top university leaders debating the evolution taking place in the academic world around recognizing the increasing importance of patenting and commercializing university research.

The panel included Mory Gharib, vice provost for Research at California Institute of Technology, Eric Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota, Richard Marchase, vice president for Research and former interim president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Timothy Sands, provost of Purdue University. 

The fifth member of the panel, Patrick Harker, president of the University of Delaware, said that while tenure “is about letting faculty speak the truth,” accountability is crucial. “Faculty have to do important stuff,” he said. In making the decision to award tenure, universities should focus on impact, and ask: “Are you working on important things, and do they make a difference?”

 “The rapid growth of the NAI is a direct reflection of how critical academic invention has become,” said NAI president Paul Sanberg, who is also USF’s senior vice president for Research & Innovation.  “Commercializing patents, spinning off new companies, building products, and creating high paying jobs have to become as much a part of a university’s mission as educating a high tech workforce for its state and the nation.”

“Investments in research pay off,” said USF President Judy Genshaft. “Inventors are building a resilient economy for the next century.”



NAI President named to committee for National Medal of Technology & Innovation

Paul Sanberg appointed to three year term

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2013)— Paul R. Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., has been appointed by the U.S. acting secretary of commerce Rebecca M. Blank to the nomination evaluation committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Sanberg is founder and president of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation is the highest honor awarded by the United States for technological achievement and is presented annually by the president. In describing the 2012 medal recipients, President Obama said: "They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great—and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment."

The medal's small independent evaluation committee, comprised of experts in science, technology, business and patent law, reviews nominations and recommends candidates to the secretary of commerce, who in turn makes recommendations to the president.

Sanberg is also Distinguished University Professor and executive director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at USF. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has authored approximately 600 scientific publications, and is an inventor on 100 health-related U.S. and foreign patents. In addition to academics, Sanberg has significant biotech and pharmaceutical industry experience.

About the National Academy of Inventors
The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501c3 non-profit organization comprised of more than 45 U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes, with over 2,000 individual academic inventor members, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI publishes a newsletter and edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY). www.academyofinventors.org


National Academy of Inventors announces 2012 NAI Charter Fellows

Academic inventors and innovators elected to high honor

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2013)—The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named 101 innovators to NAI Charter Fellow status, representing 56 prestigious research universities and non-profit research institutes.

Collectively, the new Fellows hold more than 3,200 U.S. patents.

Included in the Charter class are eight Nobel Laureates, two Fellows of the Royal Society, 14 presidents of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 53 members of the National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine), 11 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, five recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, four recipients of the National Medal of Science, and 31 AAAS Fellows, among other major awards and distinctions.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The NAI Charter Fellows will be inducted as Fellows by the U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Margaret A. Focarino, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), during the 2nd Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, on Feb. 22, 2013, in Tampa, Fla., at the Embassy Suites Hotel in the University of South Florida Research Park. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.

"The USPTO and the NAI work closely together to promote innovation and support inventors, and I am delighted to be inducting this charter class of outstanding academic innovators," said Focarino.

In his keynote address at the NAI's inaugural conference last February, David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, said: "The NAI is a breakthrough for our country. It couldn't be more timely to have an organization like this to be championing innovation."

The NAI Charter Fellows will be recognized with a full page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education on Jan. 18, 2013, in the Jan. 2013 issue of Inventors Digest, and in a future issue of Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Charter Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The NAI Fellows Selection Committee was comprised of recipients of National Medals, a National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, 14 members from the National Academies, senior officials from the USPTO, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), and the United Inventors Association, and leaders from several research universities.

"The scope of new thinking and new products represented by the NAI Charter Fellows is a profound example of the power of academic innovation and invention," said Todd Sherer, president of AUTM and associate vice president for research administration at Emory University, an NAI member institution.

The 2012 NAI Charter Fellows are listed here: http://www.academyofinventors.org/charter-fellows.asp.