USF Hosts Inventor's Conference

Prominent speakers highlight the program of the two-day National Inventors Conference, which will be at USF this week.

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2013) –The National Academy of Inventorswill hold its second annual conference on Feb. 21-22 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in the University of South Florida Research Park, located at  3705 Spectrum Blvd. in Tampa.  A detailed agenda is available at


The conference will feature presentations and panels by more than 20 distinguished scientists and academic leaders on innovation, with keynotes by two well-known speakers: Robert Langerof the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, as well as Margaret Focarino, U.S. Commissioner for Patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), who will also induct the NAI Charter Fellows—101 top scientists and innovation leaders from 56 research universities and non-profit research institutes. All hold U.S. patents, and collectively, they hold more than 3,200 patents.  Nearly half of the new fellows are scheduled to attend the conference.


Among the fellows are eight Nobel laureates, 14 presidents of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 53 members of the National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine), 11 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, two fellows of the Royal Society, five recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and four recipients of the National Medal of Science, among many other major awards and distinctions. 


“Selection as a NAI fellow is a high honor,” said Anne Chasser, former U.S. Commissioner for Trademarks and chair of the Fellows Selection Committee, who will introduce Focarino at the conference.  “The fellows 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.”


Thursday’s keynote speaker Langer has 810 issued and pending patents worldwide, licensed to more than 250 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies.  He has received more than 200 major awards, including the United States National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation.  Forbes selected Langer as one of 15 innovators worldwide who will “reinvent our future,” and Parade Magazine named him one of six “heroes whose research may save your life.” 


“The NAI is a breakthrough for our country,” said David Kappos, outgoing Director of the USPTO, who gave the keynote address at last year’s conference. “It couldn’t be more timely to have an organization like this to be championing innovation.”


Invited papers from the conference will be published in the NAI journal Technology and Innovation