Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Bayh-Dole Coalition announces recipients of its inaugural American Innovator Award

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 23rd, 2023

The Bayh-Dole Coalition has announced the recipients of its inaugural American Innovator Award, which recognizes scientists, tech transfer professionals, and entrepreneurs who have turned cutting-edge, early-stage research into products that benefit people and the environment.

The recipients include Yan Wang, professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), who has developed a lithium-ion battery recycling technique that is capable of collecting and reusing 98% of critical metals from discarded batteries. WPI worked with Wang to patent the invention in 2012, and it has since been licensed by a spin-off company for commercial development.

“Professor Wang’s immense contributions to lithium-ion battery manufacturing and recycling exemplify the spirit of innovation and discovery that the Bayh-Dole Coalition deeply values,” says Joseph P. Allen, executive director of the Bayh-Dole Coalition. “Without visionary innovators like Professor Wang and the ingenious tech transfer system established by the Bayh-Dole Act, many promising early-stage discoveries would fail to reach their full potential.”

Wang comments, “This recognition underscores the critical importance of sustainable technology solutions that address our planet’s pressing challenges. Through collaborative efforts, we are forging a path towards a greener future, where innovation and environmental stewardship intersect to create lasting impact.”

The other four recipients are:

  • Katalin Kariko, a biochemist at the University of Pennsylvania who helped develop the mRNA platform behind the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Dennis Liotta, an Emory University chemist who helped develop effective treatments for both HIV and COVID-19.
  • Carol Mimura, a tech transfer official at UC Berkeley who helped commercialize the Nobel-winning research that led to the revolutionary cancer immunotherapy Yervoy.
  • Peter Stern, an entrepreneur whose Columbia University spinout aims to revolutionize LiDAR technology.

Source:  WPI

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