The Office of Technology Transfer held its 24th annual Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship on November 15th, where it announced the winners of the Innovator and Dr. John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year.
Innovator of the Year – 2013
Dr. R. Michael Roe received the top prize for Innovator of the Year. Dr. Roe is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, and has made numerous groundbreaking discoveries in the area of arthropod physiology and insecticide resistance. His research has led to 36 patents and 10 commercial licenses, as well as the commercial sale of a potent natural insect repellent that is one of the only effective alternatives to DEET, the most heavily used insecticide repellent in the world. In addition, he has discovered a new natural herbicide, and he recently licensed a new natural fumigant that is an alternative to methyl bromide which is in the process of being phased out due its harmful effects on the ozone layer.
He is currently involved in work to develop bite-resistant textiles to serve as an alternative to insecticide-impregnated fabrics that are in wide use but are experiencing diminishing effectiveness due to the development of insecticide resistance by mosquitoes and other public health pests.
Dr. John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year- 2013
OTT announced that it was naming its top award for entrepreneurs in honor of the esteemed NC State faculty inventor, educator, entrepreneur and founder of WebAssign who passed away earlier this year. Dellaine, Steve and Jim Risley were in attendance in support of this announcement.
The first Dr. John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Dr. Jayant Baliga from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Baliga has long been a serial entrepreneur, founding four companies in the Triangle Area. In addition, Dr. Baliga’s inventions have been commercialized by numerous companies including Vishay Siliconix, Infineon and Cree. Dr. Baliga received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest form of recognition given to an engineer by the US Government, from President Obama in October 2011.