CAMBRIDGE, MA – The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) included Draper’s Len Polizzotto in its charter class of fellows, an honor intended to recognize inventors who have demonstrated a highly 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.
Margaret A. Focarino, U.S. Commissioner for Patents, will induct the fellows during the 2nd Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on Feb. 22, 2013, in Tampa, Fla.
Polizzotto, Draper’s vice president for strategic business development, joins a charter class of fellows that includes eight Nobel Laureates, two Fellows of the Royal Society, 12 presidents of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 50 members of the National Academies, three recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, four recipients of the National Medal of Science, and 29 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows.
Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Charter Fellow 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.
Polizzotto holds 11 patents, and has written numerous articles on human color perception, digital imaging, and microphotography. He holds a Ph.D. in visual sciences from Tufts University, and bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
Polizzotto has led efforts at Draper that include creating the Lab’s energy initiative and establishing its Biomedical Engineering Center and MultiChip Module Fabrication Facility in Florida. He is currently leading national research consortia to study post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as to integrate all sources of medical data to provide real time decision support to clinicians in intensive care units and emergency departments.
“Len has been vital in enabling Draper to not only maintain its culture of innovation, but drive it further as the Lab expands from its core aerospace business into areas like biomedical engineering and energy systems,” said Jim Shields, Draper president. “His leadership has been a critical element of finding new ways to harness Draper technology to solve national problems.”
Polizzotto previously held senior positions at SRI International and Polaroid Corp., and served as the director of the Center for Globalization of Technology at WPI.
The NAI Fellows Selection Committee is comprised of 14 Members from the National Academies, recipients of National Medals, a National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, and senior officials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), AAAS, the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the United Inventors Association and University Research Leadership.