Preliminary judging for contest entries is performed by the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors each year. The National Academy of Inventors, with USF as its Founding Institution, is the brainchild of Paul Sanberg, USF’s senior vice president for Research & Innovation “Inventors embody the creativity and innovation which is a hallmark of a fast-growing research university,” Sanberg said. “I wanted to increase the perception at the university that innovation and patents are important, leading to transfer of technology to our society.” Academy members are innovators of a wide array of inventions, from nanotechnology applications to new medical devices to bioengineered cells and clean energy technology. For example, internationally noted Alzheimer’s disease researcher Huntington Potter holds 14 patents – 13 related to medical research and one for a suitcase handle that allows travelers to tilt the bag so it won’t bump the ground while going up stairs. Patents held by USF faculty include devices that help keep track of people with dementia; ocean sensors used in marine sciences; medical imaging technology and even a transgenic mouse to study neurological diseases.
U.S. and international universities and academic research organizations are invited to join as member institutions and form local chapters to recognize and honor their own academic inventors. In addition, the National Academy of Inventors also edits a multidisciplinary journal that showcases the positive impact of novel technologies discovered in universities and non-profit research institutes, Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY). “The NAI allows us to recognize the extraordinary talent of academic inventors and honor their contributions to society in a way that also captures their talent and enthusiasm to stimulate technology development and promote entrepreneurship throughout the nation,” said Sanberg.