Click photo to enlargeDinesh Patel UTC Hall of Fame inductee �12� To be a "genius," David Hall said somewhat jokingly, "You never get inside the box." What that translates into is a willingness to
takes risks and to fail on your way to new inventions.
Hall should know.
The Provo businessman was named the top "Utah genius" at a luncheon Tuesday at the Grand America Hotel.
The Utah Genius 2009 Awards Luncheon at The Grand America honored individuals or companies that received the most patents in the state in 2008.
Cities also were honored for the number of patents and the number per capita.
Last year, Hall's company, Novatek, which creates tools and machines for industries such as oil and gas drilling, mining and construction companies, received about 50 patents, while filing for another 100.
Asked how he manages a company with such a creative atmosphere, Hall said, "You stay totally unfocused.
You have to be willing to lose money and go broke." The Provo company that employs 130 people spends about $15 million a year on research and development.
"We make a lot of mistakes," said Hall.
"Some projects just go down the drain and some succeed.
Some go big." An example of one that went big is Intelliserv, a company spun off from Novatek that sells a system that sends information from a drilling operation inside the Earth to the surface.
The principal sponsor of the Genius Awards is the Bateman IP Law Group, a firm that specializes in intellectual property.
AdvertisementRand Bateman, founder and president, said the firm hopes to make the awards an annual event.
Most of the innovation in Utah comes from small companies, which have to continue to innovate despite the recession in order to survive, he said.
"Those are the people who keep other people employed." Dinesh Patel, founder and managing director of vSpring Capital, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Patel, who holds 15 patents and has founded, nurtured and sold several biotechnology companies, said despite the recession, "really good companies" were getting funding.
"I don't think innovation stops" in a down economy, he said.
If there was a note of caution to the congratulatory nature of the proceeding, it was struck by Jack Brittain, outgoing dean of the David Eccles School of Business and the University of Utah and vice president of technology venture development.
Brittain, who gave the keynote address, said in an interview afterward that he was concerned about future innovation because of present attitudes about immigrants and education, or what he called "the genius pipeline." "We're here celebrating the outcome of genius but are we doing the right thing socially to protect our genius pipeline?" Brittain asked.
"Historically a lot of our genius pipeline has been immigrants." He also said the state's education system has come to emphasize teaching tied to passing a test rather than to critical thinking and other skills that endure once schooling ends.
firstname.lastname@example.org Top 5 cities in patents per capita in 2008Park City � 1 in 211 residentsLindon � 1 in 501 residentsHyde Park � 1 in 534 residentsFruit Heights � 1 in 566 residentsAlpine � 1 in 599 residents�Top 5 cities in total numbers of patents in 2008Salt Lake City � 257 Provo � 110 Sandy � 87 Orem � 59 Draper and Spanish Fork � tie at 40 �Utahns with most patents granted in 20081.
Hall, Provo, Novatek International, 522.
Ronald B Crockett.
Provo, Novatek International, 213.
Jeff Jepson, Provo, Novatek International, 194.
Scott Dahlgren, Provo, Novatek International, 185.
Kidman, Spanish Fork, Cheetah USA Corp., 12 6.
Boss, American Fork, IBM, 11tie 7.
Carter Provo, Novell, 9Joe Fox, Provo, Novatek International, 9Tyson J.
Wilde, Provo, Novatek International, 9tie 10 David L.
Dejong, Ogden, MeadWestvaco Calmar, 7F.
Mark Ferguson, Salt Lake City, independent, 7Francis Leany, Provo, Novatek International, 7Fred P.
Smith, Alpine, Alpine Engineering & Design, 7Bradley W.
Smith, Ogden, Autoliv ASP, 715.
Bruce Raile, Salt Lake City, Sun Optics, 6tie 16 Ashok Challa, Sandy, Fairchild Semiconductor, 5Paul T.
Clegg, Orem, Vantage Controls, 5William T.
Dalebout, Logan, 5Bob Frey, Salt Lake City, Fairchild Semiconductor, 5Darren Jones, Lehi, Alpine Innovations, 5Michael P.
Jordan, South Weber, Autoliv ASP, 5David O.
Meyers, Kaysville, independent, 5Stewart N.
Middlemiss, Provo, Smith International, 5Donald D.
Solomon, North Salt Lake, independent, 5Carl R.
Stanford, Clearfield, Lifetime Products, 5David L.
Thorne, Salt Lake City, Bard Access Systems, 5