The National Academy of Inventors has named 175 leaders of academic invention to NAI Fellow status.

Among the Fellows named, at least 20 are of Indian American or South Asian American, including B. Jayant Baliga of North Carolina State University, Sarit B. Bhaduri of the University of Toledo, Pallab K. Bhattacharya of the University of Michigan, Raghunath V. Chaudhari of the University of Kansas, Suman Datta of the University of Notre Dame, Kanad Ghose of Binghamton University SUNY, Surya K. Mallapragada of Iowa State University, and Raghunath A. Mashelkar of the National Innovation Foundation-India.

Additional Fellows named include Lakshmi S. Nair of the University of Connecticut, Shrikanth S. Narayanan of the University of Southern California, Paras N. Prasad of the University at Buffalo-SUNY, Ragunathan Rajkumar of Carnegie Mellon University, Sudeep Sarkar of the University of South Florida, Mrityunjay Singh of the Ohio Aerospace Institute, Kamalesh K. Sirkar of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Ponisseril Somasundaran of Columbia University, Sidlgata V. Sreenivasan of the University of Texas at Austin, Madhukar L. Thakur of Thomas Jefferson University and Anil V. Virkar of the University of Utah.

The 2016 Fellows are named inventors on 5,437 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 26,000 issued U.S. patents, NAI officials said.

"It is exciting to see the NAI Fellows Program continue to grow and honor the world’s most impactful academic inventors each year," said NAI president Paul R. Sanberg in a statement. "The 2016 Fellows exude innovative excellence and we feel truly privileged to welcome them to the Academy and recognize their remarkable contributions to discovery and invention."

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely 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 welfare of society, it said.

Those 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.

"With each year I continue to be amazed by the caliber of individuals named as NAI Fellows and the 2016 class is no exception," said U.S. commissioner for patents Andrew H. Hirshfeld in a statement. "Congratulations to this very deserving group of distinguished academic innovators. I was honored to once again serve as a member of the Fellows Selection Committee and look forward to recognizing this new group of innovative leaders at the induction ceremony this spring."

Following the latest list of Fellows named by NAI, there is a total of 757 representing 229 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes.

NAI Fellows include more than 94 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 376 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 28 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 45 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science, 28 Nobel Laureates, 216 AAAS Fellows, 126 IEEE Fellows and 116 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.

NAI Fellows have generated more than 8,500 licensed technologies and companies and created more than 1.1 million jobs, with over $100 billion in revenue generated based on their discoveries.

The 2016 Fellows will be inducted April 6 as part of the sixth annual conference of the NAI at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Mass.

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