National Medal of Technology and Innovation

National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Awarded for Outstanding contributions to the Nation’s economic, environmental and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technological products, processes and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the Nation’s technological manpower.[1]
Presented by President of the United States
Location Washington, D.C.
Country  United States
First awarded 1985
Official website

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (formerly known as the National Medal of Technology) is an honor granted by the President of the United States to American inventors and innovators who have made significant contributions to the development of new and important technology. The award may be granted to a specific person, to a group of people or to an entire organization or corporation. It is the highest honor the United States can confer to a US citizen for achievements related to technological progress.



The National Medal of Technology was created in 1980 by the United States Congress under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act. It was a bipartisan effort to foster technological innovation and the technological competitiveness of the United States in the international arena. The first National Medals of Technology were issued in 1985 by then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan to 12 individuals and one company.[2] Among the first recipients were technology giants like Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak, founders of Apple Computer, and AT&T Bell Laboratories, a veritable powerhouse in technological innovation. The medal has since been awarded annually.

On August 9, 2007, President George Bush signed the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act of 2007. The Act amended Section 16 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, changing the name of the Medal to the "National Medal of Technology and Innovation."[1]

Award process

Ralph Baer receives the National Medal of Technology

Each year the Technology Administration under the U.S. Department of Commerce calls for the nomination of new candidates for the National Medal of Technology. Candidates are nominated by their peers who have direct, first-hand knowledge of the candidates achievements. Candidates may be individuals, teams of individuals (up to 4), organizations or corporations. Individuals and all members of teams nominated must be U.S. citizens and organizations and corporations must be U.S.-owned (i.e. 50% of their assets or shares must be currently held by U.S. citizens).

All nominations are referred to the National Medal of Technology Evaluation Committee which issues recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. All nominees selected as finalists through the merit review process will be subject to an FBI security check. Information collected through the security check may be considered in the final selection of winners. The Secretary of Commerce is then able to advise the President of the United States as to which candidates ought to receive the National Medal of Technology. The new National Medal of Technology laureates are then announced by the U.S. President once the final selections have been made.


As of 2005, there have been more than 135 individuals and 12 companies recognized. Summarized here is a list of notable laureates and a summary of their accomplishments.

Eminent Laureates of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Year Name Topic
1985 Fred Brooks, Erich Bloch and Bob Evans "For their contributions to the IBM System/360, a computer system and technologies which revolutionized the data processing industry…"
1985 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak "For their development and introduction of the personal computer…"
1985 Joseph F. Sutter "For his contributions to the development of the commercial airliner jet, the 747…"
1986 Bernard M. Gordon "For his invention and development of D/A and A/D conversion…"
1986 Reynold B. Johnson "For his invention and development of magnetic disk storage…"
1987 Robert N. Noyce "For his inventions in the field of semiconductor integrated circuits…"
1988 Arnold O. Beckman "For exceptional creativity in designing analytical instruments" (spectrophotometry)
1988 Edwin H. Land "For the invention, development and marketing of instant photography."
1988 David Packard "For extraordinary and unselfish leadership in both industry and government, particularly in widely diversified technological fields…"
1989 Herbert W. Boyer and Stanley N. Cohen "For their fundamental invention of gene splicing techniques … and discovery of recombinant DNA technology"
1989 Helen T. Edwards, Richard A. Lundy, J. Ritchie Orr and Alvin Tollestrup "For their contributions to the design, construction and initial operation of the Tevatron particle accelerator"
1990 John Atanasoff "For his invention of the electronic digital computer…"
1990 Marvin Camras "For the development and commercialization of magnetic recording…"
1990 Jack Kilby "For his invention and contributions to the commercialization of the integrated circuit and the silicon thermal print-head; for his contributions to the development of the first computer using integrated circuits; and for the invention of the hand-held calculator, and gate array."
1990 Gordon Moore "For his seminal leadership in … large-scale integrated memory and the microprocessor…"
1991 Grace Murray Hopper "For her pioneering accomplishments in the development of computer programming languages…"
1991 Frederick McKinley Jones "For … development of refrigeration technology … which revolutionized the preservation and distribution of food and other perishables…"
1992 Bill Gates "For his early vision of universal computing at home and in the office…"
1993 Kenneth H. Olsen "For his contributions to the development and use of computer technology" (Digital Equipment Corporation – DEC)
1994 Irwin M. Jacobs "For his development of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) as a commercial technology adopted as a U.S. digital cellular standard"
1995 Alejandro Zaffaroni "For his contributions to time released medicine and serial entrepreneurship in the field of biotechnology."
1996 Stephanie Kwolek "For her contributions to the discovery, development and liquid crystal processing of high-performance aramid fibers (Kevlar)"
1997 Vinton Cerf and Robert E. Kahn "For creating and sustaining development of Internet Protocols"
1997 Ray Dolby "For his inventions and for fostering their adoption worldwide through the products and programs of his company"
1998 Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie "For co-inventing the UNIX operating system and the C programming language which together have led to enormous advance to computer hardware, software and networking systems. And assimilated the growth of an entire industry thereby enhancing American leadership in the information age."
1999 Glen Culler "For pioneering innovations in multiple branches of computing, including early efforts in digital speech processing, invention of the first on-line system for interactive graphical mathematics computing and pioneering work on the ARPAnet."
1999 Ray Kurzweil "For pioneering and innovative achievements in computer science such as voice recognition, which have overcome many barriers and enriched the lives of disabled persons and all Americans."
1999 Robert A. Swanson "For his foresight and leadership in recognizing the commercial promise of recombinant DNA technology and his seminal role in the establishment and development of the biotechnology industry."
1999 Robert W. Taylor "For visionary leadership in the development of modern computing technology, including computer networks, the personal computer and the graphical user interface."
2000 Douglas Engelbart For inventing the computer mouse and helping develop hypertext
2000 Dean Kamen "For inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for … awakening America to the excitement of science and technology."
2001 Arun Netravali "pioneering contributions that transformed TV from analog to digital, enabling numerous integrated circuits, systems and services in broadcast TV, CATV, DBS, HDTV, and multimedia over the Internet; and for technical expertise and leadership, which have kept Bell Labs at the forefront in communications technology."
2002 Carl D. Keith and John J. Mooney For inventing the three-way catalytic converter
2002 M. George Craford, Russell Dean Dupuis, Nick Holonyak For inventing the LED
2003 Jan D. Achenbach "For his seminal contributions to engineering research and education and for pioneering ultrasonic methods for the detection of cracks and corrosion in aircraft, leading to improved safety for aircraft structures."
2003 Watts Humphrey "For his vision of a discipline for software engineering, for his work toward meeting that vision, and for the resultant impact on the U.S. Government, industry, and academic communities."
2003 Robert Metcalfe "For leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet."
2004 Ralph Baer "For inventing the first video game console."
2004 Roger Easton, Sr. "For his extensive pioneering achievements in spacecraft tracking, navigation and timing technology that led to the development of the NAVSTAR-Global Positioning System (GPS)."[3]
2005 Ronald J. Eby, Maya Koster, Dace Viceps Madore and Velupillai Puvanesarajah "For their work in the discovery, development and commercialization of Prevnar, the first-ever vaccine to prevent the deadly and disabling consequences of Streptococcus pneumoniae infections in children."
2005 Dean L. Sicking "For his innovative design and development of roadside and race track safety technologies that safely dissipate the energy of high-speed crashes, helping prevent fatalities and injuries."
2005 Alfred Y. Cho "For his contributions to the invention of the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) technology and the development of the MBE technology into an advanced electronic and photonic devices production tool, with applications to cellular phones, CD players, and high-speed communications."
2006 Leslie A. Geddes "For his contributions to electrode design and tissue restoration, which have led to the widespread use of a wide variety of clinical devices. His discoveries and inventions have saved and enriched thousands of lives and have formed the cornerstone of much of the modern implantable medical device field."
2006 Paul G. Kaminski "For his contributions to national security through the development of advanced, unconventional imaging from space, and for developing and fielding advanced systems with greatly enhanced survivability. He has made a profound difference in the national security posture and the global leadership of the United States."
2006 Herwig Kogelnik "For his pioneering contributions and leadership in the development of the technology of lasers, optoelectronics, integrated optics, and lightwave communication systems that have been instrumental in driving the growth of fiber optic transmission systems for our Nation's communications infrastructure."
2006 Charles M. Vest "For his visionary leadership in advancing America's technological workforce and capacity for innovation through revitalizing the national partnership among academia, government, and industry."
2006 James Edward Maceo West "For co-inventing the electret microphone in 1962. Ninety percent of the two billion microphones produced annually and used in everyday items such as telephones, hearing aids, camcorders, and multimedia computers employ electret technology."
2007 Paul Baran "For the invention and development of the fundamental architecture for packet switched communication networks which provided a paradigm shift from the circuit switched communication networks of the past and later was used to build the ARPANET and the Internet."
2007 Roscoe O. Brady "For the discovery of the enzymatic defects in hereditary metabolic disorders such as Gaucher disease, Niemann-Pick disease, Fabry disease and Tay-Sachs disease, devising widely used genetic counseling procedures and development of highly effective enzyme replacement therapy that provided the foundation for patient treatment; and for stimulating the creation of and fostering the success of many biotechnology companies that now produce the therapeutics for the treatment of these diseases."
2007 David N. Cutler "For having envisioned, designed and implemented world standards for real-time, personal and server-based operating systems for over 30 years, carrying these projects from conception through design, engineering and production for Digital Equipment Corporation’s RSX-11 and VAX/VMS and for Microsoft’s Windows NT-based computer operating systems, and for his fundamental contributions to computer architecture, compilers, operating systems and software engineering."
2007 Armand V. Feigenbaum "For leadership in the development of the economic relationship of quality costs, productivity improvement, and profitability and for his pioneering application of economics, general systems theory and technology, statistical methods and management principles that define the Total Quality Management approach for achieving performance excellence and global competitiveness. "
2007 Adam Heller "For fundamental contributions to electrochemistry and bioelectrochemistry and the subsequent application of those fundamentals in the development of technological products that improved the quality of life of millions across the globe, most notably in the area of human health and well-being."
2007 Carlton Grant Willson "For creation of novel lithographic imaging materials and techniques that have enabled the manufacturing of smaller, faster and more efficient microelectronic components that better the quality of the lives of people worldwide and improve the competitiveness of the U.S. microelectronics industry."
2008 Forrest M. Bird "For his pioneering inventions in cardiopulmonary medicine, including the medical respirator; devices that helped launch modern-day medical evacuation capabilities; and intrapulmonary percussive ventilation (IPV) technologies, which have saved the lives of millions of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other conditions."
2008 Esther Sans Takeuchi "For her seminal development of the silver vanadium oxide battery that powers the majority of the world's lifesaving implantable cardiac defibrillators, and her innovations in other medical battery technologies that improve the health and quality of life of millions of people."
2008 John Warnock and Charles Geschke "For their pioneering contributions that spurred the desktop publishing revolution and for changing the way people create and engage with information and entertainment across multiple mediums including print, Web and video."[4]
2009 Harry W. Coover "for his invention of cyanoacrylates, a new class of adhesives that have influenced medicine and industry, and are known widely to consumers as "super" glues."
2009 Helen M. Free "for her seminal contributions to diagnostic chemistry, primarily through dip-and-read urinalysis tests, that first enabled diabetics to monitor their blood glucose levels on their own."
2009 Steven J. Sasson "for the invention of the digital camera, which has revolutionized the way images are captured, stored and shared, thereby creating new opportunities for commerce, for education and for improved worldwide communication."
2009 Federico Faggin, Marcian E. Hoff Jr., Stanley Mazor "for the conception, design, development and application of the first microcomputer, a universal building block that enabled a multitude of novel digital electronic systems." [5]
2010 Rakesh Agrawal "for an extraordinary record of innovations in improving the energy efficiency and reducing the cost of gas liquefaction and separation. These innovations have had significant positive impacts on electronic device manufacturing, liquefied gas production, and the supply of industrial gases for diverse industries." [6]
2010 B. Jayant Baliga "for development and commercialization of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor and other power semiconductor devices that are extensively used in transportation, lighting, medicine, defense, and renewable energy generation systems."
2010 C. Donald Bateman "for developing and championing critical flight-safety sensors now used by aircraft worldwide, including ground proximity warning systems and wind-shear detection systems."
2010 Yvonne C. Brill "for innovation in rocket propulsion systems for geosynchronous and low earth orbit communication satellites, which greatly improved the effectiveness of space propulsion systems."
2010 Michael F. Tompsett "for pioneering work in materials and electronic technologies including the design and development of the first charge-coupled device (CCD) imagers."

See also


External links

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