USF Research & Innovation's New Inventors Academy

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2009) More than 100 inventors from across the University of South Florida will become members of the newly formed USF Academy of Inventors™, an organization created to recognize and promote innovation achievement among faculty, staff, students and alumni.


The new members will be formally inducted into the academy at a ceremony during ResearchOne, a week-long showcase of research and discovery at USF, Oct. 5-9, 2009. 


The criterion for membership is an issued patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. USF faculty members are regularly granted 30 to 40 patents a year for new inventions.


The USF Academy of Inventors is the brainchild of Paul Sanberg, USF’s associate vice president for Research & Innovation and the holder of 28 U.S. patents including the first patents for using bone marrow and cord blood as a source of neural stem cells for brain repair.


“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. Other 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.


For a complete list of members and their patents, click here.


In addition to forming the academy, the Office of Research & Innovation also will edit a national journal that will showcase the positive impact of novel technologies discovered in universities.


The 11-year-old old journal, Technology, published by Cognizant Communications Corporation (New York) will revise its title and focus in 2010 to publish quarterly as Technology & Innovation – Proceedings of the Academy of Inventors, Sanberg said. USF hopes that the Academy of Inventors will be a state and national model by having other universities participate.  Members will receive the journal. 


“This is a wonderful way to recognize the extraordinary talent of our faculty inventors and to recognize their contributions to the university and society in a novel way that also captures their talent and enthusiasm to bring visibility to their efforts to stimulate technology development and promote entrepreneurship on the campus and beyond,” said Karen Holbrook, vice president for Research & Innovation at USF.


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 224 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.