Public Release: 

Pillars of academic innovation

Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors highlights academic innovators foiling online child pornographers, restoring sight to blind patients, and creating materials of the future

University of South Florida (USF Innovation)

Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2018) - The new issue of Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors ® (19:3) (full text) highlights papers from the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI): "Recognizing Pillars of Academic Innovation." The NAI Annual Conference, held last year from April 5 to 7, 2017, in Boston, Mass., provides an annual forum for celebrating academic invention and inventors, recognizing and encouraging invention, and enhancing the visibility of university and non-profit research. This issue contains a special conference section and a general section.

"This issue of T&I explores the pillars that support academic innovation and invention activity, including public policy, industry-university partnerships, recognition of entrepreneurial faculty, and the mentorship of the next generation of innovators," said Dr. Paul Sanberg, president of the NAI and co-editor-in-chief of T&I. "This support is vital, as it provides the framework for life-saving and life-changing advances."

Conference Highlights

  • Hany Farid examines how high-tech tools PhotoDNA and eGlyph help rein in online abuses, such as radicalization propaganda and child pornography, by enabling users to identify the material, which can then be removed
  • Tai-Chi Lin, Lan Yue, and Mark S. Humayun discuss the Argus vision system, which uses an external camera to capture images, which are then transmitted as electrical pulses to stimulate a patient's retinal nerve cells, allowing them to see via the patterns of light sent to the brain.
  • Melissa B. Crawford et al. share the groundbreaking techniques used in the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (LA-STEM) Research Scholars Program to improve retention and graduation for STEM majors at Louisiana State University
  • Amy Phillips, Paul Tumarkin, and Nasser Peyghambarian share the good and bad sides of commercializing technology as a faculty member and suggest lessons that can be drawn from Peyghambarian's experiences
  • Rue Xie et al. discuss their work in creating ultra-stretchable conductive materials for wearable technologies, which was featured in the first-ever NAI Student Innovation Showcase
  • Karen Burg provides a primer on NAI chapters, which serve as local innovation powerhouses for many of NAI's member institutions, supporting faculty and students in their invention efforts
  • The first NAI Chapter Spotlight, a new T&I feature, focuses on Institut Pasteur and offers insights from Head of Patents and Inventions Nicolas Torno, who discusses the importance of recognizing inventors and supporting a vibrant innovation community

Regular Features

  • Philippa Olsen and Linda Hosler share how the partnership between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the National Inventors Hall of Fame fosters inventiveness and encourages creativity
  • In the NAI Fellow Profile, acclaimed inventor and research scientist Dr. Frances Ligler discusses her exciting new work in microfluidics and tissue-on-chip, the innovative research and educational collaborations between UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State, and the value in leading from behind
  • In the Innovation in Action feature, the University of South Florida shares innovations from IRX Therapeutics in drug development and from BioReNEW in waste disposal


The National Academy of Inventors is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents 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 the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.