NAI Announces 2024 Conference Program

Tampa, FL – May 28, 2024

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) is thrilled to announce the program for their 13th Annual Conference being held in the Research Triangle in Raleigh North Carolina, June 16th-18th. The two day conference is hosted by NC State University and will feature a myriad of speakers and panelists from across the innovation ecosystem discussing topics and sharing best practices in relation to this year’s conference theme “Unlocking Innovation: Keys to Societal Solutions”.

“We are so excited to bring this event to the Research Triangle, home to the largest research park in the U.S. and anchored by three Tier-1 research universities and NAI Member Institutions: NC State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” said Paul R. Sanberg, FNAI, President of NAI. “It is truly special to bring together the world’s top innovators to this area that serves as such an incredible innovation powerhouse and creates significant scientific and economic impact in North Carolina and the U.S. at large.”

The Academy’s Annual Conference is a cross-section of the brightest minds, prolific inventors, institutional and government leaders, and technology transfer champions brought together to discuss and create unified goals to increase diversity, share best practices, and scale the impact of invention and innovation in our nation and beyond. Among these incredible individuals are the incoming classes of NAI Fellows and Senior Members, who will be inducted during the event.

This year, NAI welcomes 162 new Fellows who represent a truly outstanding caliber of inventors. The newest class of Fellows represents NAI’s foundational and continuing commitment to diversifying innovation on all levels, with underrepresented inventors comprising 33% of this year’s class. This year’s class also showcases regional diversity with Fellows representing 35 U.S. states and 10 countries, exemplifying the Academy’s belief that great innovators can be found everywhere. The Fellows Induction Ceremony will be led by Derrick Brent, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent Office (USPTO).

This year’s class of Senior Members is composed of 124 emerging innovators, representing 60 NAI Member Institutions from across the country. This group of Senior Members is characterized by their high level of accomplishments, with over 1,000 U.S. patents among them as well as 344 licensed technologies or products resulting from their work. The Senior Members Induction will be led by Vaishali Udupa, US Commissioner for Patents.

Three inaugural awards, created by NAI Fellows committed to encouraging and celebrating individual inventors, will be presented during the two-day event. These awards include: the Genspiration Prize co-created by Judy Genshaft, FNAI; the Yogi and Lovely Goswami Achievement Award in Energy and Sustainability, co-created by Yogi Goswami, FNAI; and the Dr. Barry B. Bercu Biomedical University Inventor Prize, honoring the legacy of Barry Bercu, FNAI. These awards will recognize excellence in innovation at a student and professional level.

Panel discussions will cover important topics such as emerging and cutting edge technologies, increasing the participation of underrepresented inventors in innovation, and best practices for engaging the next generation of inventors. Speakers and panelists will include university Presidents and Vice Presidents of Research, representatives from government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the USPTO, and individuals from organizations such as the US IP Alliance and AUTM. 

“This year’s conference has shaped up to be something truly spectacular,” said Sanberg. “This program is one of our strongest yet, with over 70 speakers and panelists sharing their insights on innovation through a variety of perspectives. The panel discussions will generate impactful and thoughtful dialogues that we hope will extend beyond the two days of this conference, and help shape the future of the innovation ecosystem.” Registration for NAI’s 13th Annual Conference is open now. To view the full agenda and register today, click here.