The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute will honor Pitt Innovators who have had their inventions licensed out of the University at its 11th Annual Celebration of Innovation on Monday, April 25, at Alumni Hall beginning at 5:30. Also being recognized will be Pitt faculty, students and staff who have received patents or submitted invention disclosures since July 1, 2014.

Due to a change in timing of the event from the first to second semester, there will be 20 months worth of accomplishments to celebrate. Over that period of time, Pitt Innovators have:

  • Had 185 inventions licensed or optioned
  • Received 115 patents
  • Submitted 480 invention disclosures

The university has also witnessed more than 120 startup companies launched based on Pitt-developed inventions since the Innovation Institute and its predecessor offices were established in 1996.

“Pitt has a long history of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. The Pitt Innovators we are honoring at the Celebration of Innovation are emblematic of our forward momentum as we seek to strengthen that culture,” said Innovation Institute Founding Director Marc Malandro.

The Innovation Institute will inaugurate two new awards at this year’s event:

  •  The Marlin Mickle Outstanding Innovator Award has been created to recognize a faculty member who exemplifies the passion and commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship of the late Dr. Marlin Mickle of the Swanson School of Engineering. Dr. Mickle was one of the most prolific innovators in the university’s history and helped mentor many others.

    Click herefor a video tribute to Dr. Mickle.

    The inaugural award will be presented to Dr. Rory Cooper, Director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL). Dr. Cooper has been issued eight patents with more pending, and has had many of his technologies licensed. He has forged strong collaborations with entrepreneurial and industry partners to speed the path to commercialization for innovations emerging from HERL that help the elderly and disabled lead more independent and fulfilling lives. He also encourages his students to pursue hands-on experiential entrepreneurship training through the Innovation Institute.

    Click here for a video honoring Dr. Cooper.

  •  The Student Innovator Award has been established to recognize the explosion of student entrepreneurship at the University fostered through the Innovation Institute’s pitch competitions, such as the Randall Family Big Idea Competition, as well as through the Blast Furnace student startup accelerator. The inaugural award will go to Dr. Noah Snyder, CEO of Interphase Materials. Snyder transitioned from research scientist to entrepreneur over the past two years while completing his bioengineering PhD, taking full advantage of the Innovation Institute’s educational programming, mentoring, space and networking opportunities. His company just completed its residency at the AlphaLab Gear accelerator and is preparing to ship its first products to customers.

    Click here for a video honoring Dr. Snyder.

“We are thrilled to recognize two great innovators in Dr. Cooper and Dr. Snyder who exemplify the desire to achieve impact for their research through commercialization,” Malandro said.

Delivering the keynote address will be Carolyn E. Green. Ms. Green is currently executive director, strategic investments, for Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, where she is responsible for strategic venture capital fund that invests in early stage biotechnology companies. Previously, Green as an executive in residence at Morningside Ventures, where she specialized in incubating and running many early stage bio pharmaceutical investments emerging from academic medical centers.

She previously served as founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Enterprise Development, one of the predecessor offices of the Innovation Institute. She received a BS in Education from the University of Pittsburgh and is an entrepreneurial fellow at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, an affiliate of the Innovation Institute.