Dubbed one of the most significant and inspiring pieces of legislation in the history of innovation and invention in the United States, the Bayh-Dole Act has been pivotal in shaping innovation policies in America.
Formally known as the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act, the Bayh-Dole Act was enacted in 1980. It allows “universities, nonprofit research institutions, and small businesses to own, patent, and commercialize inventions developed under federally funded research programs within their organizations,” per Drexel University.
To celebrate and protect the legislation, a group of innovation-driven organizations formed the Bayh-Dole Coalition which aims to raise awareness about intellectual property and its benefits, both among policymakers and the public.
When hard work pays off
On September 13, the Bayh-Dole Coalition announced five leading innovators in biotech who will receive the inaugural Bayh-Dole Coalition American Innovator Award in honor of their life-changing achievements.
“We’re thrilled to welcome some of America’s greatest scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs to our nation’s capital to recognize their brilliant achievements,” said Joseph P. Allen, executive director of the Bayh-Dole Coalition.
The list of award recipients features the following innovators:
- Katalin Karikó, a biochemist at University of Pennsylvania who contributed to the development of the mRNA technology behind COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, preventing almost 20 million deaths. (She was recently profiled in Ms. Magazine!)
- Carol Mimura, a technology transfer official of the University of California at Berkeley who took part in the commercialization of the Nobel Prize-winning research that produced the groundbreaking cancer treatment Yervoy.
- Dennis Liotta, a professor and chemist at Emory University whose work on “emtricitabine” saved tens of millions of lives by turning HIV “from a death sentence into a manageable illness.”
- Yan Wang, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute engineering professor whose development could end our dependence on gas-powered cars with a new lithium car battery recycling technique.
- Peter Stern, an entrepreneur who leads a Columbia University spinout that aims to revolutionize light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology.
To learn more about their groundbreaking innovations, read the Bayh-Dole report, Faces of American Innovation.