Why Become a Member Institution of the NAI?

Benefits of Membership

  • Honor the inventors and innovators among your institution’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and affiliates, and encourage the creative thinking and spirit of innovation in your academic community.
  • Support development and commercialization of academic patents and inventions, and the disclosure of intellectual property.
  • Opportunity to publish in the NAI journal, Technology and Innovation. Institutions that join during the Charter Member period have the opportunity to name a member to the journal’s editorial board.
  • Annual meeting featuring world-class presentations and networking with renowned inventors from across the U.S. and around the world, representatives from our Member Institutions and conference participants, such as the USPTO, Smithsonian-Lemelson Center, AUTM, NCET2, ORAU, NCIIA, UIA, Twenty Million Minds, NSF.
  • A member-focused organization, with active participation from our member institutions.
  • Reasonable institutional membership fees for academic organizations and affordable annual meetings.

USPTO Collaboration

The NAI works closely with the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office on a number of initiatives. For example, current programs include: the 2013 Innovation Expo (both as university liaison for exhibit submissions and serving on the selection committee), Patents for Humanity program, comments on public policy such as the America Invents Act and its implementation, recruitment for the Veterans Internship Programs, serving on the nomination evaluation committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and sponsor for the USPTO Regional Independent Inventors Conference. The USPTO publishes an article in each issue of Technology and Innovation.

NAI Charter Fellows

At the NAI conference in 2013, U.S. Commissioner for Patents Margaret Focarino inducted 101 innovators as NAI Charter Fellows, representing 56 prestigious research universities and non-profit research institutes. Collectively, the new Fellows hold more than 3,200 U.S. patents. Included in the Charter class are eight Nobel Laureates, 14 presidents of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 54 members of the National Academies, 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. A plaque engraved with the names and institutions of the fellows will be on display at the USPTO federal building in Alexandria, Virginia, this year and each subsequent year.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation. Membership in the NAI is not required for nomination. Visit our website for complete information on the Fellows program to recognize your distinguished faculty.


Our growth, development and continued success is due entirely to the continued involvement, commitment and leadership of our member institutions. We invite you to join us and be part of the future of academic invention of our nation.