Dear Friends,

On behalf of the National Academy of Inventors’ Board of Directors and staff, I am pleased to present this year’s Activities Report.

As the Academy approaches its 14th year, I am amazed at just how much it’s grown. The Academy now has over 1,736 Fellows, 430 Senior Members, 250 Member Institutions, and Chapters comprising over 2,000 members. Together, we are transforming the culture of innovation on local, state, and national levels. Today, NAI is the leading authority on academic invention, and is one of the three honorific organizations recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

“[NAI is] filling a void by providing a mechanism to honor and nurture academic inventors…Your commitment to being engaged in the intellectual property system is what will generate a new hope for our future” - Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

While it’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come, we must always look ahead. After all, is that not what innovation is about?

As we look into the future, we are identifying challenges that beset the innovation ecosystem and are working to create solutions.

As part of this, we are continuing to work with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to expand both NAI and USPTO resources to better serve underrepresented communities in the innovation ecosystem, as well as create new programs tailored to ensuring every inventor has the tools they need to succeed. We are also continuously working to identify barriers and create solutions that facilitate the translation of inventions from ideation to marketplace.

As always, part of our mission is recognizing and celebrating the work of our academic inventors. Through our Fellows program, Senior Member program, and Chapters, we are honored to recognize innovators at every stage of their inventive career and provide them platforms to share their work and achievements. Our Invention Insider interview series, as well as our From Campus to Commerce video series, allows us to recognize our inventors even further, giving our members a place to share their personal innovation journeys and their successes.

As we tackle the challenges of both today and tomorrow, I know the members of this Academy will continue to be the driving force of innovation, defining the future of society and creating real-world impact. To date, NAI Fellows have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies in pursuit of this goal, and created significant economic impact as well, with their technologies creating over 1 million jobs and over $3 trillion in revenue.

Thank you for your continued support of the Academy, and please remember that we exist to honor and support you.

Since the Academy’s inception, NAI and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have worked together to enhance the innovation ecosystem. In 2022, the Academy and the USPTO deepened that partnership with a Joint-Project Agreement (JPA), which aims to broaden access in the invention and innovation ecosystems. With this five-year agreement, both parties are seeking to expand access of NAI and USPTO resources to historically under-served communities, which include minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. The Academy has undertaken several initiatives already as part of this JPA, with many more on the horizon.

In the spring of 2023, the Academy launched its first Language Study developed to better understand how to best communicate IP programs and services to innovators, educators, and students, with the intent to drive diversity and inclusion within the academic innovation ecosystem. The study seeks to better understand what channels the target market is tuned into and what language will resonate with them to encourage their participation in IP resources. Participants included NAI Member Institutions, non-member academic institutions, and individuals from the innovation ecosystem to obtain a comprehensive view of what language and channels are the most effective and accessible to under-served communities.

The Academy is currently working on several initiatives that align with the JPA which include, but are not limited to, the creation of the Academy’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board and expanding our IP curriculum and certification to provide more, accessible resources for underrepresented innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as expanding our GAIN mentoring program and platform.

In addition to the JPA, NAI became signatories on the Increasing Diversity in Innovation Pledge, spearheaded by the US IP Alliance (USIPA), in the fall of 2022. The Academy, as an organization, also serves as a member on the USIPA’s Executive Strategic Committee and Board.

Learn more about the Increasing Diversity in Innovation Pledge. ➤

11th Annual Meeting

View the 11th Annual Meeting Gallery ➤

Watch the 11th Annual Meeting Videos ➤

The Academy hosted its 11th Annual Meeting in June of 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference, themed Defining the Future: Inventing for Tomorrow, focused on the critical role inventors play in solving the world’s most complex challenges, with panels on collaboration in innovation, enabling diverse inventorship, and the future of IP.

The conference included the induction of the 2021 Class of Fellows and 2022 Class of Senior Members and culminated in the presentation of the Founders Award and inaugural Sentinel Award at the Signature Gala. The 2022 Founders Award was presented to Howard Federoff, FNAI, and the Sentinel Award recipients included Andrei Iancu, HonNAI, Robert Duncan, FNAI, and Karen Burg, FNAI.

See the 11th Annual Meeting Program ➤

12th Annual Meeting

View the 12th Annual Meeting Photo Gallery ➤

Watch the 12th Annual Meeting Videos ➤

Held in June of 2023 in Washington, D.C, the epicenter of the American Intellectual Property system, the Academy’s 12th Annual Meeting was the largest and most successful conference to date. The conference centered on the theme Diversifying Innovation for a Strong Economy and Sustainable Future. Notable featured speakers and panelists from academia, government, nonprofits, and industry came together to discuss topics such as sustainable solutions, the intersection of policy and innovation, the economic impact of invention, and best-practices for fostering innovation at an institutional level and beyond. The 12th Annual Meeting also included a special pre-conference event hosted by the USPTO to unveil the plaque of the newest Fellows class, which will reside at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

The two-day conference included the induction of the 2022 class of Fellows and the 2023 Class of Senior Members as well as the annual presentation of the Sentinel and Founders Awards, which were presented during the closing Signature Gala. The 2023 Sentinel Award recipient was Moez Limyam, HonNAI and the 2023 Founders Award recipients included Anne Chasser, HonNAI, Stephen Klasko, HonNAI, and The Florida High Tech Corridor, accepted on their behalf by CEO Paul Sohl, HonNAI. The Signature Gala also included the inaugural Chapter of Excellence Awards, created to celebrate the impact of NAI Chapters at their institutions and in their communities. This year’s awardees included the University of California San Diego, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Florida Atlantic University.

See the 12th Annual Meeting Program ➤

Global Academic Information Network (GAIN)

The Global Academic Information Network (GAIN) is a mentorship platform created by the National Academy of Inventors to provide a networking and mentoring resource for students, staff, and faculty at NAI Member Institutions.

This platform links mentees to mentors, providing advice and guidance on research, the innovation ecosystem, intellectual property protection, the commercialization of patented technology, and career direction.

GAIN users can utilize the various features to schedule video consultations with mentors, access exclusive resources, and form groups to further enhance networking and knowledge sharing, either for their institutions or for specific subject matters.

Learn more about the GAIN Platform today! ➤

Intellectual Property Curriculum

In partnership with the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, NAI is proud to share this great opportunity for aspiring inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs. This Intellectual Property (IP) course teaches critical knowledge about America’s intellectual property protection system and how it can work for you.

By completing this, participants will acquire a foundation for a successful career in the most quintessential American tradition - Innovation.

This cornerstone of NAI’s educational programs is currently in use at several universities to educate faculty and students on the importance of IP. This fiscal year alone, 374 institutions and organizations have benefited from this educational experience.

Take the course today! ➤

Out of This World Banking with NASA Federal Credit Union

Through a special arrangement, NAI members can enjoy "Boundless Banking" with exclusive offers and preferred rates from NASA's official Federal Credit Union.

Take advantage of the same financial perks offered to members of the National Academy of Science and the National Science Foundation!

Learn more

From Campus to Commerce

From Campus to Commerce is an interview series created to showcase the phenomenal work being done at NAI Member Institutions through highlighting inventions created on campus that have accelerated into the marketplace.

This video series highlights the important impact academic invention, intellectual property, and technology transfer has on the innovation ecosystem by hearing directly from innovators as they discuss their inventive journeys.

Watch the series now! ➤

Technology and Innovation

Technology & Innovation (T&I), journal of the NAI, is the multidisciplinary journal dedicated to highlighting topics that are relevant to academic invention and innovation. The most current issue, Diversity, Innovation, & Invention explores how invention and innovation diversity gaps are stunting our nation’s innovation capacity and inhibiting opportunity and success for a large percentage of our population. T&I continues to support our Member network by highlighting the important innovations and research being done within the academic innovation arena, as well as subjects that impact the innovation ecosystem at large.

Learn more about T&I ➤

Read T&I ➤

Top 100

NAI has released the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2022, using data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.Published annually since 2013, the report ranks the top 100 universities named as an assignee on utility patents granted by the USPTO in the 2022 calendar year.

This year, NAI introduced their newest Top 100 list, Top 100 U.S. Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2022, created to highlight and celebrate American innovation and to showcase the U.S. universities that play a large role in advancing the innovation ecosystem within the U.S. and beyond.

View the Top 100 Worldwide Universities List ➤

View the Top 100 U.S. Universities List ➤

Invention Insider

Invention Insider is an inspirational series aimed at highlighting the personal journey of inventors, celebrating successes, setbacks, and moments of serendipity. The multi-media series includes interviews, inventor features, and reflective stories that encompass the unique challenges and accomplishments in the inventive journeys of NAI members.

Invention Insider is housed in the newly redesigned newsroom on NAI’s website, with stories also shared and celebrated on NAI social media channels. In 2024, join us as we expand Invention Insider to bring you even more insightful and impactful inventor features.

Read Invention Insider ➤

ScholarShare Webinar Series

ScholarShare is a virtual webinar series that was launched to connect the innovation community and encourage global interdisciplinary discussion. The series provides the unique opportunity to hear from and engage with innovators, thought leaders, IP professionals, and more as they discuss topics from across the innovation ecosystem and offer insight and solutions on the greatest challenges facing our world today.

All NAI ScholarShare sessions are recorded and posted on the NAI YouTube channel, where they have reached an even wider global audience. Watch for upcoming webinars and check out any you may have missed on our YouTube channel.

Watch ScholarShare ➤

NAI Website

In February of 2023, the NAI website launched with an all-new look, redesigned with NAI members in mind. With intuitive navigation and higher ease of use, the new site makes it easier to find and access NAI’s wealth of information and resources.

The site sports new features as well, including a newly designed newsroom which will act as the all-encompassing home of NAI news and media content going forward. Coming in 2024, a Member Portal exclusive to Fellows and Senior Members, will be added to the site and will host a forum and additional resources only available to members. This new space will be designed to increase connectivity amongst NAI members, allowing them to connect with their peers and share resources and information.

Check out the redesigned NAI site ➤

NAI is proud to have more than 250 institutions of higher learning in our global network, representing 42 American states and 14 countries. NAI Member Institutions are dedicated to creating a culture of innovation on their campus and in their community, as well as recognizing and celebrating their inventors, and facilitating tech transfer to bring impactful innovations to market. With this commitment, NAI Member Institutions are extended exclusive benefits that include the opportunity to house an NAI Chapter, allowing them to connect with the broader NAI network and beyond and honor their on-campus innovators through recognition and Chapter Membership. NAI Institutional Membership also provides the exclusive opportunity to name NAI Senior Members.

These world-class learning institutes are committed to facilitating discovery for societal progress and are invaluable as the world looks more and more toward academic discovery to solve our most pressing issues. This year, all 6 of the universities welcomed into the Association of American Universities (AAU) were NAI Member Institutions. In fact, all 71 AAU members are NAI Member Institutions, demonstrating their commitment to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education. NAI Member Institutions are also members of prestigious organizations and recognitions such as the Association of Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and R1 universities.

This fiscal year, the Academy has welcomed nine new Member Institutions: Portland State University, Clarkson University, Lieber Institute for Brain Development, King Abdulaziz University, United Arab Emirates University, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Tulane University, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Learn more about the benefits of becoming a Member Institution ➤

NAI Sustaining Membership demonstrates the highest commitment to facilitating innovation, not just at their own institution, but in the broader innovation ecosystem as well. NAI Sustaining Members are dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the inventors of today and tomorrow, supporting next generation inventors and honoring their inventive faculty through expanded NAI Chapter opportunities. It is with their support that the Academy is able to develop programs and resources that serve the needs of both experienced and rising innovators, to support them at every stage of their innovation journey. Sustaining Member Institutions also receive added benefits such as institutional recognition on the Academy’s website and special promotional opportunities on the Academy’s media channels and at the NAI Annual Meeting, plus the opportunity to select guest editors for NAI’s journal, Technology & Innovation.

Today, there are 14 Sustaining Member Institutions, one of which was welcomed into the Academy this fiscal year: United Arab Emirates University.

Current Sustaining Members:

From our Sustaining Members:

Arizona State University

ASU’s Biodesign Institute plays critical role in combating COVID-19

The Arizona State University Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory (ABCTL) was launched in March 2020 to quickly and accurately detect coronavirus for individuals who may have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. To do this, the academic research team retooled their expertise and high throughput CLIA-certified diagnostic testing capabilities established during a $40M project for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The lab developed a saliva test and was the first to make such a test widely available to the public.

Read More ➤

Auburn University

Waggoner and Auburn University CPS Pushing the Boundaries of Canine Detection

Dr. Paul Waggoner and the Auburn University's Canine Performance Sciences (CPS) program are innovating for man’s best friend and expanding the boundaries on canine detection in previously untapped areas, including disease and infection detection.

Read More ➤

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The Inventor of Non-invasive Prenatal Testing: Professor Dennis Lo

As a pioneer in the field of non-invasive diagnostics, Professor Dennis Lo leads a multidisciplinary team to develop the next generation tools for the analysis of cell-free nucleic acids and to study the biology and pathological characteristics of cell-free fetal nucleic acids that have not been unraveled to date. His research covers an enormous scope with a wide-range of applications and impact in healthcare.

Read More ➤

Miami University (Ohio)

Researchers at Miami University have been awarded a $1.5 million grant from PsyBio Therapeutics Corp. to expedite progress toward clinical trials of a portfolio of neuropsychiatric drugs. In 2020, PsyBio and Miami joined forces to develop and test a new class of molecules to treat mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance dependency.

Read More ➤

North Carolina State University

With impactful partnerships and innovative networks, NC State University is a research powerhouse and a strong economic engine for North Carolina.

Read More ➤

New York University

New York University startup Manifold Robotics simplifies data collection with drones

Manifold Robotics is a spin-off company from New York University (NYU) that is developing specialized drones to tackle data collection in complex environments. The company was founded in 2017 by Jeffrey Laut, who earned a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and his doctoral advisor Maurizio Porfiri, Institute Professor at New York University. Dr. Laut serves as the company’s CEO and lead engineer, and Prof. Porfiri is involved as a technical advisor and consultant to the company.

Read More ➤

Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University

Through their NAI Chapter, PMU is honoring their ongoing commitment to support and encourage their innovators to pursue patents on technologies that solve real-world problems.

Read More ➤

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech launches research center for sustainable food production

Researchers from Texas Tech University, in conjunction with four partner institutions, were awarded $51 million dollars from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the Engineering Research Center for Advancing Sustainable and Distributed Fertilizer Production (CASFER). Headquartered at Texas Tech, the center will enable resilient and sustainable food production by developing the next generation of modular, distributed, and efficient technologies for capturing, recycling, and producing decarbonized nitrogen-based fertilizers.

Read More ➤

United Arab Emirates University

UAEU’s National Water and Energy Center conducts innovation research addressing water and energy sustainability

Researchers at UAEU’s National Water and Energy Center (NWEC) are creating low-energy and low-maintenance solutions for water desalination that could be a breakthrough in the industry.

Read More ➤

University of California, Riverside

Situated on nearly 1,200 scenic acres in Inland Southern California, UCR’s diverse, inclusive, and globally focused community is creating a new model for what a great public research university can achieve.

Read More ➤

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

From car accidents to wildfires, UNL researchers are developing technologies that save lives with efficient and cost-effective solutions.

Read More ➤

University of South Florida

Florida Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee Norma Alcantar Turns Family Wisdom into Trailblazing Career

University of South Florida Engineering Professor Norma Alcantar’s induction into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame this year is an honor that transcends countries, cultures, and her family’s history.

Read More ➤

NAI Chapters play an important role in our innovation ecosystem. In addition to serving their respective university communities, chapters highlight the achievements of NAI Members and promote innovation through events, ceremonial inductions, activities, and more. Chapters foster an ideal innovation culture at their institutions and in their communities, creating a shared network in which inventors are recognized, supported, and celebrated.

The Academy’s Chapter network currently includes 50 official chapters which offer the unique benefit of local collaboration, support, and honor for individual inventors at NAI Member Institutions who translate their research for the benefit of society. NAI Member Institutions also have the exclusive opportunity of naming NAI Senior Members, and their Chapters allow them to recognize IP and innovation champions from across the ecosystem as Chapter Members and Honorary Members. The Chapters are also essential vehicles to nurture and engage students, as well as institutional and community leaders who facilitate innovation. We are pleased to recognize the 6 new chapters that were established this fiscal year: The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of California Riverside, and The George Washington University.

To further recognize the important work of NAI Chapters, the Academy has launched the Chapter of Excellence Awards. The inaugural awards were presented at NAI’s 12th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. this year and were awarded to Florida Atlantic University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and University of California, San Diego for the contributions their chapters have made to the innovation ecosystem.

If you are interested in starting your own NAI Chapter, visit our Chapter Resource Page ➤

Florida Atlantic University

Since its inception in 2019, FAU’s NAI Chapter has established a suite of programs to recognize and encourage innovators, mentor innovative students, and enhance the visibility of academic invention. In June, the Chapter launched a new mentorship program. In collaboration with FAU Wave, an undergraduate and graduate applied research and entrepreneurial competition, Chapter Members are connected to students to provide education and guidance in specific research areas.

Read more about the new mentorship program.

New Jersey Institute of Technology

This year, NJIT integrated their annual Undergraduate Summer Research and Innovation Symposium with their NAI Chapter’s Innovation Day to celebrate and recognize the university’s inventive students, faculty, and staff. The two-day event featured presentations from over 150 students as well as talks from distinguished keynote speakers, including NJIT President and NAI Fellow Teik Lim, NAI Fellow Dereje Agonafer, and NAI Executive Director Jamie Renee. The event also included the induction of the Chapter’s newest members and the nomination of 59 students into the NAI-NJIT Student Innovator and Inventor Club (SI2C) to be officially inducted in the fall of 2023.

Learn more about NJIT’s Chapter. ➤

University of California, San Diego

At UC San Diego, invention is in our DNA. We are home to 18 NAI fellows, including current and emeritus faculty, and last year, our research program generated more than 500 new invention disclosures, including over 200 new patents. The university’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship runs deep and goes beyond the campus borders.

UC San Diego inventors and founders Dr. Leanne Chukoskie and Dr. Jeanne Townsend are prime examples. BrainLeap Technologies provides brain-training software that helps children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) improve their concentration and motor skills. It is the only research-based, gaze-driven system designed to train foundational attention skills.

With funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, the BrainLeap team has expanded its reach to make attention training broadly accessible for children and adolescents. This coming year, they will expand research efforts to older adults via cognitive enhancement training, providing people a powerful tool in the fight against dementia.

While programs like Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, The Basement and StartR at the Rady School of Management support students and faculty in their startup endeavors, capital projects like the Design and Innovation Building and UC San Diego @ Park & Market are another way UC San Diego promises to strengthen the connection between the campus and industry partners, government entities and community members.

The University of California San Diego was the first University of California campus to establish a chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a move that helped the campus build and sustain a more robust innovation ecosystem. This designation provided tools and resources to help UC San Diego raise the profile of its inventions and technologies, encourage innovations on campus and educate student entrepreneurs.

Fellows Program

Established in 2012, the NAI Fellows Program recognizes individuals whose patented innovations have made a longstanding and remarkable economic and societal impact. They are often recognized and celebrated as pioneers in their field. The election to NAI Fellow status is the highest distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. Fellows are considered to be experienced innovators, typically holding a median of 20 patents, and have often been honored by some of the most prestigious organizations within the innovation ecosystem. Every year, the newest class of NAI Fellows are recognized in the U.S. Congressional Record and their names permanently displayed on a plaque in the USPTO headquarters. They are also honored during the NAI Annual Conference, in which they are presented medals by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. With the addition of the newest class of Fellows in December 2022, the Fellows Program comprises 1,736 Fellows representing over 300 universities and non-profit research institutes worldwide.

See the full 2022 class list of Fellows ➤

Learn more about the Fellows Program ➤

Search our Fellows Directory ➤

In December 2022, 169 distinguished Fellows were elected into the Academy. They were honored in the Fellows Induction Ceremony held during NAI’s 12th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in June, 2023.

View pictures from the Fellows Induction Ceremony. ➤

Senior Member Program

NAI Senior Members Recognition Program was introduced in 2018 and recognizes individuals affiliated with NAI Member Institutions whose success in patented innovations has created, or has the potential to create, tangible societal impact. The naming of NAI Senior Members is an exclusive opportunity afforded solely to NAI Member Institutions to recognize and honor their inventors at a national level. Senior Members are typically active scientists, faculty, or administrators who are considered early-stage innovators and are recognized as rising leaders in their field. Today, Senior Members include 429 emerging innovators holding over 5,500 patents. The 2023 class of Senior Members, composed of 95 individuals, was selected in February and was honored during the Senior Member Induction Ceremony at NAI’s 12th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in June 2023.

See the full 2023 class list of Senior Members ➤

Learn more about the Senior Member Program ➤

Search the Senior Member Directory ➤

thank you to our sponsor

Download the Report

Download the full report here or click a thumbnail below to download by section.

National Academy Of Inventors

3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 165

Tampa, FL 33612-9445 USA




PHONE: 813-355-9114