Len Polizzotto

Distinguished Senior Fellow

Dr. Len Polizzotto recently retired as Draper Laboratory’s Vice President responsible for new programs, leading efforts to leverage Draper’s capabilities to solve new important national needs. He was responsible for establishing Draper’s Bioengineering Center on the USF campus in Tampa, a Multichip Module Facility in St. Petersburg, establishing Draper’s energy business and leading two medical consortia. One, IMEDS, was focused on developing systems to provide real time decision support to clinicians at the bedside in the ICU. The other was aimed at developing quantitative bio markers for PTSD.

Prior to joining Draper in 2007, Dr. Polizzotto served for six years as Corporate Vice President for Business Development for SRI International, a world leader in contract R&D services where he established centers for proteomic drug development in Virginia and Port Security in Florida, as well as helped develop and teach a course on innovation to company executives throughout the world. A 25-year tenure at the Polaroid Corporation preceded this, concluding with him as Corporate Vice President for New Business Development.

Between corporate experiences, Dr. Polizzotto directed the Center for the Globalization of Technology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as taught courses in electrical engineering and design. In the past, he founded one and led another high tech start-up, both in the biomedical area. Dr. Polizzotto received his Ph.D. in visual sciences, combining electrical engineering, perceptual psychology, and ophthalmology, from Tufts University. He earned M.S. and B.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with Distinction, and completed The Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and was an NCAA Post Graduate Scholar. He holds twelve patents and is a Charter Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors. He is the author of numerous articles on human color perception, digital imaging, microphotography, and innovation, as well as two books on drum set instruction.

Currently, Dr. Polizzotto is an Executive in Residence at Northeastern University for Innovation. He is also an Executive in Residence at WPI for Value Creation, as well as a partner in The Practice of Innovation, LLC, teaching innovation fundamentals to industry and academia globally.