Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.
Those named today bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 414, representing more than 150 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions. Professor Davies is the second University of Limerick staff member to be elected following the election earlier this year of UL Vice President Research Dr Mary Shire. UL was the first Irish University to become a member of the Academy in June of this year.
In 2005 Professor Mark Davies together with Dr. Tara Dalton formed Stokes Bio Ltd to commercialise their patented UL research work on high throughput microfluidic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. Stokes Bio raised in excess of US$4m in venture capital and in 2010 the company was sold to Life Technology Corp for US$44m. The trade sale provided financial returns to the University which were used to support the development of a new University of Limerick Nexus Innovation Centre. At the time of the Stokes Bio acquisition by Life the company employed 45 people many of whom were former PhD students from the University of Limerick.
Professor Davies returned to the University in 2012 where he continues researching and teaching. His current research in cell based screening has led to 4 new patent applications and his intention is to bring these new technologies to the market.
Dr Mary Shire said “UL has always had a reputation of translational research, making an impact for industry, society and the world at large and Professor Davies has been a leading example of this. We excel in building effective partnerships which deliver and our success in spin-out and commercialisation activity is evident. The election of our academics to the National Academy of Inventors is representative of our strategy to strengthen the impact of our research at a national and international level and raise global awareness of UL and Limerick as a hub for innovation and R&D”
Included among all of the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 208 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM), 21 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 16 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, 21 Nobel Laureates, 11 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 112 AAAS Fellows, and 62 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.
The NAI Fellows will be inducted on Mar. 20, 2015, as part of the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile will be providing the keynote address for the induction ceremony. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, newly designed medal, and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.
The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were 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.
The 2014 NAI Fellows Selection Committee comprises 17 members, including NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of University Technology Managers, and National Inventors Hall of Fame.