R&D Council of NJ to Honor Top Inventors at 44th Annual Edison Patent Awards

Aug. 16, 2023

Bell Labs Researcher Victor Lawrence, Health Care Leader Robert C. Garrett, and Senator/Physicist Andrew Zwicker to Receive Top Honors during November 15th Ceremony

The Research & Development Council of New Jersey (R&D Council) announced today the honorees and winners of the 2023 Edison Patent Awards, the state’s highest recognition for inventors and innovation. These 14 winning patents created by 60 inventors and the three individual award winners will be honored during the 44th annual Edison Patent Award Ceremony and Reception on November 15, 2023 at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.

The R&D Council will honor retired Bell Laboratories inventor and communications trailblazer Victor Lawrence, Ph.D. with its highest honor: the Science and Technology Medal; Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health will receive the Chairman’s Award; New Jersey Senator Andrew Zwicker, Ph.D. of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will be honored with the Educator of the Year Award.

2023 Edison Patent Award winners are American Standard Brands, BASF, Bristol Myers Squibb, Consolidated Energy Design, Mentor Worldwide, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company, Merck Research Laboratories, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Nokia Bell Labs, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Siemens Technology, and Stevens Institute of Technology. The recognized patents range from a pharmaceutical drug to address cardiovascular disease to a secure data sharing and processing method that enhances cybersecurity.

Winners were selected by a team of R&D Council researchers who evaluated patents for the significance of the problem, utility/socio-economic value, novelty, and commercial impact. All winning patents must have at least part of the technical/scientific work completed in New Jersey. A complete list of winners, patent names, and numbers can be found below.

“The Edison Patent Awards honors the brilliant minds and visionary companies propelling New Jersey to the forefront of global innovation,” stated Colleen Ruegger, RPh, Ph.D., Chair of the R&D Council Board of Directors and Executive Director, Technical Research & Development at Novartis. “Within the Garden State, Thomas Edison’s profound legacy continues to thrive, embodied by the 60 remarkable honorees who remind us that Innovation Lives Here in New Jersey.”

Victor Lawrence, Ph.D. will receive the Science & Technology Medal for his prolific and notable contributions to the global telecommunications industry. Dr. Lawrence’s lifetime of technical innovation and achievements have enabled the rapid development of faster data communications technologies for a wide range of applications and the development of the communications industry at large. His work has greatly enhanced the competitiveness of the U.S. and the lives of billions worldwide by connecting them to the Internet. The Science & Technology Medal is awarded annually by the R&D Council to New Jersey innovators who have achieved outstanding and unparalleled advancements in the fields of science and technology and have demonstrated extraordinary performance in bringing innovation from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Hackensack Meridian Health Chief Executive Officer Robert C. Garrett will be honored with the Chairman’s Award at the Edison Patent Awards, for his efforts to impact health care outcomes and medical innovation in New Jersey. Mr. Garrett will be recognized for his role in advancing medical education, behavioral health, cancer care, and innovation and research. The Chairman’s Award honors New Jerseyans for their outstanding effort and leadership in uniting industry, academia, and the state in pursuit of a research-based economy in New Jersey.

The Educator of the Year Award will be awarded to New Jersey Senator Andrew Zwicker, Ph.D., head of Communications and Public Outreach at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Both as a physicist and a legislator, Senator Zwicker has made education a centerpiece of his career. He has launched numerous education-related programming at PPPL including internship and apprenticeship programs to support current and future scientists and, in the New Jersey Legislature, has sponsored numerous bills to support New Jersey students and improve the state’s education system. The Educator of the Year Award recognizes a leader in New Jersey for their achievements in the advancement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in New Jersey.

The 44th annual Edison Patent Awards Ceremony and Reception will take place on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at the Liberty Science Center. During the ceremony each award winner will have a special tribute film premiered in their honor.