250 Inventors, Academic Leaders Gather at Caltech for National Academy of Inventors Induction

Published : Thursday, March 26, 2015 | 8:06 AM

Inductees of the 2014 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors at the NAI's 4th annual conference, held this year at the Caltech, March 19 and 20, 2015.

Caltech was the setting for the induction ceremony of the 2014 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors at the NAI’s 4th annual conference, held this year  on March 19 and 20. U.S. Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile provided the keynote address.

“It was our distinct pleasure to host the 2014 NAI Fellows induction ceremony at Caltech,” said Mory Gharib, Caltech’s vice provost for research and Charter Fellow of the NAI. “I am honored to be a Fellow of this organization and continue to be inspired by my innovative colleagues.”

U.S. Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile provided the keynote address for the induction ceremony of the 2014 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors at the NAI's 4th annual conference, held this year at the Caltech, March 19 and 20, 2015.

Approximately 250 inventors and academic leaders attended the conference, which featured presentations and panels by more than 30 distinguished scientists and innovators including keynote addresses by Charter NAI Fellow Esther Takeuchi of Stony Brook University, newly elected NAI Fellow Richard DiMarchi of Indiana University and newly elected NAI Fellow Steven Chu of Stanford University. Chu is the former U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Barack Obama and co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for the “development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.”

“Patent-protected inventions provide the economic incentive to recruit the sizable financial investment necessary to translate university-based discoveries to breakthrough commercial products,” said Richard DiMarchi, professor of chemistry at Indiana University. “NAI is a society that celebrates academic-based inventions. It promotes the integration of the unique creativity found in universities with external commercial enterprises.”

Faile and Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI, presented the 2014 class of Fellows with a trophy, medal and rosette pin honoring their accomplishments as inventors at a ceremony held Mar. 20, 2015, in the Beckman Auditorium at Caltech. More than 100 of the 170 top scientists and innovation leaders elected as 2014 Fellows were in attendance.

“The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a strong supporter of the mission of the National Academy of Inventors,” said Faile. “We welcome your strong support of intellectual property rights, and we share a common mission – to promote innovation.”

“Innovation results in new, life-changing technologies. It fuels entrepreneurship and economic growth. It creates jobs and grows exports. And we know that so much of today’s innovation emerges from university and nonprofit research. You serve as a critical liaison with universities on academic innovation.”

With the induction of the 2014 class, there are now 414 NAI Fellows worldwide representing more than 150 prestigious universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions. Collectively, the Fellows hold nearly 14,000 issued U.S. patents and include 61 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 212 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM), 23 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 16 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, 21 Nobel Laureates, 11 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 112 AAAS Fellows, and 62 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.

“It is an honor to be counted among so many amazingly innovative people,” said President Robert Brown of Boston University. “In my role as NAI Fellow, I look forward to supporting the efforts of NAI to promote academic technology and innovation—especially the applied use of inventions to improve quality of life and spur the economy.”

Nominations for 2015 Fellows will open Jul. 1, 2015, and can be submitted online through Nov. 1, 2015, at AcademyofInventors.org. The 2015 Fellows will be inducted and honored at the 2016 NAI Annual Conference, which will be held at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Va., April 14-15, 2016.

“It is wonderful to be an academic and be recognized as an inventor,” said Shree Nayar professor of computer science at Columbia University. “I am honored to be a part of such a remarkable group of innovators.”

“We appreciate what NAI does to encourage inventors who stimulate and support our innovation economy,” says USPTO Commissioner for Patents Margaret (Peggy) Focarino. “It’s a privilege to serve on the NAI Fellows Selection Committee as the Fellows program provides a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on our nation’s top inventors. We congratulate the Fellows on their outstanding achievements!”

“The 2014 NAI Fellows are truly an elite group of leaders in academic innovation,” said Sanberg. “Their contributions have made a profound impact on society and we are proud to honor them as Fellows.”

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

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

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