Who We Are
The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame (NJIHoF) honors inventors, organizations, and others who have contributed to innovation in the Invention State. The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, led by a Board of Trustees and committees, promotes the role of invention in the state’s development and the role of inventors in improving society and changing our lives. Now in its third decade, the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame operated from 1987 to 2002 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, from 2003 to 2007 with support from the Research & Development Council of New Jersey. In 2008 the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stevens Institute of Technology provided support for the organization and in 2010, another sponsor, large patent law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP joined Stevens to expand the organization and advance the outreach efforts. As of January 2013, 375 men, women and corporations have been honored by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame for their inventive achievements which have had a significant positive impact on society.
New Jersey has played a key role in the modern practice of invention thanks to its unusually rich mix of corporate laboratories, scientists, engineers, and inventors. Once home to the great Thomas Edison, who industrialized the process of invention at his factories in Menlo Park (now Edison) and West Orange, as well as Bell Telephone and RCA Laboratories, the state continues to be a powerhouse of creativity and innovation. It ranks fourth nationally in the total number of United States patents issued while ranking only eleventh in population.
Because New Jersey is the only state with its own inventors hall of fame, the United States Patent Office and the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio, have recognized the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame for its outstanding organization and commitment to honoring those who seek to improve our lives through technology. The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame makes awards through induction into its Inventors Hall of Fame and selections for Inventors of the Year,Innovators, Special Awards, Corporate Awards and others as deemed appropriate by the Board of Trustees. For example, a new award category - Graduate Student Awards - was instituted in 2005 to promote the invention process and to stimulate inquiry-based and trans-disciplinary learning.
To qualify for nomination to the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, an inventor must have lived in the state during the period of his or her inventive project, or worked for a company in the state that sponsored the work. Candidates are ranked on several measures, the most of important of which is how well the invention or its patent was commercialized or used, as well as the significance of its impact on society. An Innovator Award and a Graduate Student Award does not require a patent, whereas patents are a prime requirement for other categories. Categories of awards and nomination form provide our submission address and due date. Nominations for the Graduate Student Award category must be submitted by appropriate college professors. Forms may be submitted at any time, and held for the next review period. It is customary for the current Governor of New Jersey to recognize the award winners at the annual New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame awards banquet.