Garrett, Zwicker, Lawrence to get top honors at Edison Patent Awards

Research & Development Council’s annual event honors some of biggest names in science and innovation

Dr. Victor Lawrence, a Bell Laboratories inventor and communications trailblazer, will be honored with the Science and Technology Medal — the highest honor at the 2023 Edison Patent Awards.

The Nov. 15 event, sponsored by the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, also will give major awards to Bob Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health (the Chairman’s Award), and state Sen. Andrew Zwicker (D-Hillsborough) of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (the Educator of the Year Award).

The event will be held at the Liberty Science Center.

The event

The 44th annual Edison Patent Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held Nov. 15 at the Liberty Science Center. During the ceremony, each award winner will have a special tribute film premiered in their honor. For more information, click here or reach out to R&D Council Executive Director Kim Case at 908-875-7167 or

2023 Edison Patent Award winners will honor the following companies and universities for recognized patents that range from a pharmaceutical drug to address cardiovascular disease to a secure data-sharing and processing method that enhances cybersecurity. The honorees:

  • American Standard Brands;
  • BASF;
  • Bristol Myers Squibb;
  • Consolidated Energy Design;
  • Mentor Worldwide (a J&J company);
  • Merck Research Laboratories;
  • Nokia Bell Labs;
  • Siemens Technology;
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology;
  • Princeton University;
  • Rowan University;
  • Rutgers University;
  • Stevens Institute of Technology.

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.

Dr. Colleen Ruegger, chair of the R&D Council board of directors and executive director of technical research & development at Novartis, said the Edison Patent Awards honor the brilliant minds and visionary companies propelling New Jersey to the forefront of global innovation.

“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,” she said.

Lawrence will receive the Science & Technology Medal for his prolific and notable contributions to the global telecommunications industry.

Lawrence’s lifetime of technical innovation and achievements has 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.

About the R&D Council of N.J.

The Research & Development Council of New Jersey collaborates among industry, academia and government to grow and strengthen STEM in education, innovation and the economy. The R&D Council is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose membership includes representatives from academia, government, and industry, including several Fortune 500 companies.

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.

Garrett will be honored for his efforts to impact health care outcomes and medical innovation in New Jersey. 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.

Zwicker is a Ph.D. who is head of communications and public outreach at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Both as a physicist and a legislator, 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 science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in New Jersey.