NAI Fellow Status Recognizes Esteemed Inventors at Highest Level

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The National Academy of Inventors has announced the NAI Fellows program for outstanding inventors who have made a significant impact on society. Nominations are open for Charter Fellows through Nov. 1.

The National Academy of Inventors® (NAI) has officially launched the NAI Fellows program and announced the opening of the nomination period for inventors to Charter Fellow status. Nominations will be accepted through Nov. 1, 2012.

“Selection as an NAI Fellow is a high honor,” said Anne Chasser, former commissioner for trademarks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and member of the NAI Fellows Selection Committee. “Nominees should 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. All Fellows must hold at least one patent, and we anticipate that most will have multiple or important patents that have been licensed.”

The NAI Fellows program was introduced to NAI membership at this year’s NAI annual conference with the induction of Dr. Thomas J. Fogarty as the first NAI Fellow. According to Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI, the organization anticipates honoring a full cohort of outstanding inventors as NAI Charter Fellows at the NAI’s 2013 Annual Conference, to be held Feb. 21-22, 2013, in Tampa, Florida.

Fogarty, an internationally recognized cardiovascular surgeon and entrepreneur, is the inventor of the industry standard Fogarty balloon catheter. He is the recipient of the Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons and the 2000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation. Fogarty was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is a member of the National Academy of Engineers. He is an alumnus of NAI Charter Member Institution, the University of Cincinnati.

“Election as an NAI Fellow will serve as a significant distinction accorded to academic inventors,” said Sanberg. “NAI Fellows are intended to be at the level of members of Royal Societies, National Academies and recipients of other esteemed prestigious honors, such as the Nobel Prize, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, or the National Inventors Hall of Fame.”

Nominations may be submitted online for the 2012 Charter Fellows class through the NAI website at Eligibility criteria and other details are available on the site.

While individual and institutional membership in the NAI is not required for an inventor to be nominated as a Fellow, nominees must have an affiliation with a university or non-profit research institute. Both U.S. and international inventors may be nominated as NAI Fellows.

The nomination period for the 2012 Charter Fellow class also provides a unique “grandfathering” opportunity for NAI Charter Member Institutions to submit their qualified outstanding inventors for induction as Fellows of the NAI.

“One reason universities and non-profit research institutes join the NAI as Member Institutions is to honor their faculty inventors. However, for their most prolific and highest level inventors, it can be challenging to find additional avenues of recognition,” said Sanberg. “Nominating those exceptional inventors to NAI Fellow status is a meaningful way to honor and encourage the very best.”

The NAI Fellows program will be announced in the Aug. 3 issue of "The Chronicle of Higher Education".

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The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501c3 non-profit organization comprised of U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes. 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. Email: info(at)academyofinventors(dot)org; web:

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