IRI Awards 2013 Medal at Diamond Jubilee


Finest Minds in Innovation Gather at IRI's Anniversary Celebration

ARLINGTON, VA (April 15, 2013)—  The Industrial Research Institute (IRI), an association that brings together companies and laboratories from around the world to seek, share, learn and create best practices in research & development and innovation, will present the prestigious IRI Medal to Dr. Robert S. Langer and Dr. George M. Whitesides at the Diamond Jubilee Awards Dinner taking place on May 22, 2013 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. This distinguished annual award recognizes and honors leaders of technology for their outstanding accomplishments in technological innovation that contribute broadly to the development of industry and to the benefit of society. 

Established in 1946, the IRI Medal is traditionally presented at the IRI Annual Meeting held each spring. One side of the medal depicts the scientist in a never-ending quest for knowledge. Imagination and mental activity are symbolized by Pegasus. The practical results of harnessing national forces to meet the needs of mankind are represented in the clouds issuing from the retort. The reverse side of the medal is an adaptation of the official seal of IRI.

“In this special 75th anniversary year, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize two individuals who have had a momentous impact on society through innovation,” said Ed Bernstein, IRI President. “Both Dr. Langer and Dr. Whitesides are pioneers in their fields and continue to inspire our members through their ground-breaking and influential work.”

Dr. Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a widely recognized and cited researcher and is being honored for his outstanding contributions in the field of bioscience, turning discoveries made in the laboratory into a range of drugs and drug delivery systems, transferring scientific discoveries to commercial market, and ultimately improving the health of millions of people worldwide. He recently accepted the 2012 National Medal of Technology and Innovation in a ceremony with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Dr. Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University, is honored for his exceptional work in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, organometallic chemistry, molecular self-assembly, and nanotechnology, and for the significant impact of his work in biochemistry, materials science, catalysis, and physical organic chemistry that fundamentally changed the paradigm of science.

IRI is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013 with a series of events, including the Diamond Jubilee, a gathering of top innovation thought leaders from industry, academia and government, coming together to create significant opportunities for learning, collaborating, and networking. This event, taking place May 21-23, 2013, will feature high-profile speakers, thought-provoking sessions on innovation and competitiveness, and special tributes to IRI’s 75-year history. Bernstein remarked, “Our goal is to bring together a wide variety of true thought provoking individuals from academia, government and industry for three days of dialogue on innovation leadership. This includes some of the most lauded names in the field.” Participating speakers include Robert A. McDonald, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer Procter & Gamble Company; Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School; Peter Sheahan, Founder & CEO, ChangeLabs; and several other prominent figures in research & development and innovation. 

Additional anniversary programs include the CTO Forum, Technology Tournament, IRI2038 Futures Project, and the Future Summit, taking place November 18-20, 2013 in San Jose, CA.


About the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is an organization of 200+ industrial and service companies having a common interest in the effective management of technological innovation. IRI member companies span diverse industries and represent a substantial portion of our nation’s gross domestic product. IRI is the only cross-industry organization creating innovation leadership solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation. IRI will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013. For more information, call 703-647-2580 or visit