MIT's Robert Langer and US Commissioner for Patents Focarino to speak at NAI Conference

Feb 14, 2013, 15:34 ET from National Academy of Inventors

National Academy of Inventors 2nd Annual Conference is Feb. 21-22 in Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Academy of Inventors will hold its 2nd annual conference in Tampa at the Embassy Suites Hotel in the University of South Florida Research Park, Feb. 21-22, 2013.  The conference is open to members and non-members. A detailed agenda is available at


The conference will feature presentations and panels by over 20 distinguished scientists and academic leaders on innovation, with keynotes by two well-known speakers: Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, and 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—collectively, they hold over 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 an 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 over 220 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

About the National Academy of Inventors
The National Academy of Inventors is a 501(c)3 non-profit member organization comprised of more than 50 U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes, with over 2,000 individual academic inventor members, and growing rapidly. 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 offices are located in the University of South Florida Research Park of Tampa Bay.  The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY).

Contact: Judy Lowry,, 813-974-3181

SOURCE National Academy of Inventors