Army innovators make the difference for Soldiers
May 9, 2013
- RDECOM scientists, engineers shine in global innovation report.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 29, 2013) -- The latest list of the Thomson Reuters' Top 100 Global Innovators includes the U.S. Army for the first time.
The U.S. government's heavy investments in innovation, especially as related to matters of national security, made the difference, according to the Reuters website. The U.S. Navy also made the list for the first time.
Of the top inventors working for the Army, 13 researchers and scientists from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. The "Prolific Inventors" in the U.S. Army patent portfolio analysis that analyzes patent data and related metrics used that has determined the Army's placement.
"This illustrates how we attack many Army-unique problems, yet also contribute in wide-ranging areas," said Dale A. Ormond, director of the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. "Our portfolio was heavy in weapons, ammunition and blasting, but also pharmaceutical products, polymers and computing."
RDECOM has the mission of developing technology and engineering solutions for the U.S. Army.
According to the selection criteria, "Organizations on the Global Innovator list were required to have a minimum of 100 inventions published in 2009--2011 covered by patents."
The Army had 327 inventions patented during this time frame. The Army Research Laboratory inventors accounted for 46 patents. The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, patented 20 different technological advancements for the Army in fiscal year 2012 alone.
Ron Meyers, an Army Research Laboratory quantum physicist, had the most patents awarded, with 11. Meyers, John E. Nettleton form the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center and Bartley Durst of the Engineer Research and Development Center (Corps of Engineers), accompanied Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology to the Pentagon award ceremony where she accepted the honor on behalf of the Army April 30.
Meyers has performed research for the Army since 1982. The achievement he said he's most proud of is moving ghost imaging from a physics curiosity to a practical far-reaching technology now under development for the Army.
Another RDECOM inventor on the list is Robert C. Hoffman, who has been with the Army since the 1980s. He started with the Night Vision Laboratory at Fort Belvoir, Va. His first three patents, including technologies needed to protect Army systems from laser threats, he feels are most significant for the Army.
"Innovation is the foundation for economic prosperity and technological advancement," said David Brown, managing director, Thomson Reuters IP Solutions. "Our Top 100 Global Innovator methodology demonstrates the insight that can be gleaned from the analysis of patent data and confirms the fact that companies focused on innovating drive growth and financial success."
Christopher Doona, an NSRDEC senior research chemist, researches novel technologies in order to create more hygienic and safer working environments for Soldiers in places such as medical facilities, kitchens and showers. Doona was responsible for seven patents during the award timeframe.
"It's kind of fascinating to see our research being more applied, patented and licensed to industry," Doona said. "Actually, industry is already marketing a commercial product based on our inventions."
Doona's patents transitioned into products such as the Portable Chemical Sterilizer and Disinfectant sprayer for Foods and Environmentally friendly Sanitation, both of which are lightweight, portable, and generate gaseous chlorine dioxide safely in minutes to sterilize certain specific surfaces at their point-of-use.
The Global Innovator methodology is based on four principle criteria: overall patent volume, patent grant success rate, global reach of the portfolio, and patent influence as evidenced by citations.
A 2012 U.S. Department of Commerce report stated: "Innovation is the key driver of competitiveness, wage and job growth, and long-term economic growth."
"Our people operate in the space between the 'state of the art' and the 'art of the possible,' where innovation is paramount and focused on addressing needs unique to the Army," Ormond said. "We also develop technologies that have a major impact once they leave the military world. It's an incredible value for the taxpayer."
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.
Meyers, Ronald E., Army Research Laboratory, 11 patents
Deacon, Keith S., Army Research Laboratory, 10 patents
Wraback, Michael, Army Research Laboratory, 9 patents
Sagripanti, Jose-Luis, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, 7 patents
Doona, Christopher, Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center, 7 patents
Kustin, Kenneth, U.S. Army, 7 patents
Hoffman, Robert C., Army Research Laboratory, 6 patents
Feeherry, Florence, Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center, 6 patents
Curtin, Maria, U.S. Army, 6 patents
Mehta, Neha, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, 5 patents
Wagner, George W., Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, 5 patents
Jow, T. Richard, Army Research Laboratory, 5 patents
Edelstein, Alan S., Army Research Laboratory, 5 patents
Sadeck, James E., Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center , 5 patents
Nettleton, John E., Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, 5 patents
Durst, Bartley, P., Corps of Engineers, 5 patents
Cummins, Toney, K., U.S. Army, 5 patents
Taub, Irwin A., U.S. Army, 5 patents
Baer, David, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, 5 patents
McManus, Albert T., U.S. Army, 5 patents