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University of Houston to Host Inventors Meeting
Laurie Fickman
Discoveries made by NAI fellows have generated over $1.6 trillion in revenue
Discoveries made by NAI fellows have generated over $1.6 trillion in revenue

National Academy of Inventors Will Be in Houston April 10-11

The University of Houston will host the eighth annual meeting of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The meeting will be held at the JW Marriott Galleria Wednesday and Thursday, April 10-11. The theme of the meeting is “Connecting the Innovation Community,” and the program will feature presentations on topics such as Industry, Academy and Government Collaborations, Connecting Disciplines to Explore Innovative Solutions and Insights for Future Innovation.

The 1,060 NAI fellows represent over 250 institutions worldwide. They hold more than 38,000 issued U.S. patents, which have generated more than 11,000 licensed technologies and created more than 36 million jobs. In addition, discoveries made by NAI fellows have generated over $1.6 trillion in revenue.

Ruiwen Zhang, director of the Center for Drug Discovery at the UH College of Pharmacy, will be inducted as an NAI fellow. Mark Clarke, associate provost for faculty development and faculty affairs and a faculty member in the UH Department of Health and Human Performance, and Wei-Chuan Shih, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be inducted as senior members.

“UH would like to recognize Ruiwen Zhang’s induction as an NAI fellow, as well as the induction of Mark Clarke and Wei-Chuan Shih as senior members,” said Amr Elnashai, UH vice president for research and technology transfer. “UH has been a longtime supporter of the NAI and welcomes our colleagues to Houston.”

M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering Venkat Selvamanickam will join a panel sharing best practices for strong industry-academic collaborations.

Presenters include NAI members and fellows, as well as university leaders and government officials. The program features five keynote speakers, five panels and a variety of individual presentations.

UH is one of over 200 member institutions of the NAI and, as such, is a member of an innovation network that spans the globe.

The meeting will conclude with the induction of the new fellows on Thursday, April 11, in the Astronaut Gallery at Space Center Houston. U.S. Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld will deliver the keynote address.

“The annual meeting of the NAI is consistently a space of collaboration and inspiration where we can support and encourage academic inventors to pursue their loftiest goals,” said Paul R. Sanberg, NAI president. “Houston, home of the Johnson Space Center, is a vibrant hub of innovation, exploration and discovery, and the perfect place to recognize our incredible community.” 

A detailed agenda is available here. Invited papers from the meeting will be published in the NAI’s multidisciplinary journal Technology & Innovation. To learn more about the journal, visit

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a 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 at the University of South Florida 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 & Innovation.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.

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