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High-impact inventors credited with helping to create 19.5 million jobs

December 17, 2020

In nearly every research institution, there are individuals who achieve oversized impacts. In the academic environment, publications and citations were the traditional standard bearers for advancing science, engineering and discovery — unfortunately, tenure and title are still stubbornly tied to these measures in universities. Patents became the next tier for measuring performance many years ago. Beyond scientific advancement, however, a paper or patent that isn’t applied or put to practical use has little real value from the perspective of national competitiveness or economic development. 

Increasingly, researchers who invent and see through the commercialization of their patents and technologies are being celebrated for impacts to both their fields of study and the economy. The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has recognized more than 1,400 such people since 2010 through its Fellows program, adding 175 of them this year from more than 100 universities and governmental or nonprofit research institutions across the planet. 

Collectively all of these high-impact NAI inventors have produced more than 13,000 licensed technologies, helped to create more than 19.5 million jobs, and generated in excess of $2.2 trillion in revenues for their licensing partners.

Nearly 1,300 of the NAI Fellows were working in US research institutions at the time of their selection. Fourteen percent of them were based in California; Texas had 8.9 percent and Florida 8.3 percent.  Canada has captured 20 of the 106 Fellow titles handed out to institutions outside the United States.

The National Academy of Inventors website presents a searchable list of every NAI Fellow as well as links to their bios and information on the selection process.