The BU Innovator of the Year is an outstanding faculty member who has translated world-class research into an invention or innovation that benefits humankind. Our annual nomination process takes place each fall, and is open to faculty and staff across campuses. We’re excited to hear your input!

Award Guidelines


  • Eligible nominees are full-time faculty on the tenure, research, and clinical tracks who have made substantial progress towards commercializing their innovations.
  • We seek to recognize work developed or completed at BU that has come into existence relatively recently; successful innovations will be currently on sale, close to market, on the path to development.
  • All disciplines and fields, as well as social, business, and teaching model innovations, are welcome.
  • The work submitted for consideration does not need to be disclosed to Technology Development.
  • Closely-collaborating teams may be eligible on a case-by-case basis.
  • Faculty, staff, and students may submit nominations. Self-nominations are allowed.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • The “BU Story”: Was the technology or innovation developed or created while at BU? Preference will be given to technologies or innovations developed from work carried out at BU.
  • Impact: How many people will the technology or innovation affect? To what degree? How do you measure this impact?

Nomination Process

Please use our online form to submit your nominations. Nominations should be thorough but concise. Submissions will be reviewed by a faculty committee of previous Innovators of the Year. Please keep in mind that the reviewers may not be familiar with your area of expertise and descriptions should be written with this consideration in mind. Descriptions should clearly articulate the commercial value of the technology or innovation.

The following components are required:

  • List of patents filed, if any;
  • Brief (500 word or 3,000 character) description of work commercialized or currently in the process of commercialization, including:
    • Summary of technology or innovation;
    • Status of product’s dissemination, reach, or market penetration;
    • Impact of product or discovery on society.
  • Stage of commercialization (proof of concept, under license, or currently being sold).

Submit a Nomination

Past Award Recipients

Ji-Xin Cheng - 2022

Selim Ünlü - 2021

Jerome Mertz - 2020

Weining Lu - 2019

Xin Zhang - 2018

Gustavo Mostoslavsky - 2017

Ed Damiano - 2016

David Salant- 2015

Mark Crovella – 2014

Ted Moustakas – 2013

James Collins – 2012

Avrum Spira – 2011

Mark Grinstaff – 2010



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