Dr. Eli Harari, co-founder, and retired chairman and chief executive officer of SanDisk, was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by the National Science Foundation for his significant contributions towards the development and proliferation of flash memory.
The award represents the nation’s highest honor for advancing science and technology by recognizing those who have made lasting contributions that have created a greater understanding of the world and improved the lives of many. U.S. President Barack Obama conferred the medal at a ceremony held today at the White House, which was attended by leading dignitaries and other medal laureates.
Dr. Harari co-founded SanDisk more that 25 years ago with the vision of using flash memory to store data in mobile products. Flash memory – an ideal storage medium due to its small size, ruggedness and low power consumption – has since become ubiquitous in mobile devices, and is now found in digital cameras, smartphones, tablets, thin-and-light laptops and other portable products. Flash memory is also increasingly transforming datacenters, enabling them to accelerate the processing and analysis of vast and growing amounts of data, thereby helping to make social media, online media-streaming, real-time business analytics and other industries both possible and feasible.
“I am proud to congratulate my fellow SanDisk co-founder and friend, Eli, on this tremendous achievement, ” said Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of SanDisk. “The flash memory technologies he helped to pioneer have had a profound impact on the entire technology landscape, firmly establishing SanDisk as a global leader and connecting us in ways we never thought possible. His lifelong intellectual and technical achievements are well-deserving of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.”
“Dr. Harari’s pioneering work both as engineer and co-founder of SanDisk was fundamental to establishing the practicality, reliability, manufacturability and endurance of flash memory, which today is widely considered to be one of the most important core technologies in the technology industry, ” said Tim Bajarin, founder and president, Creative Strategies. “Flash memory has enabled many companies such as Apple and others to offer breakthrough products that have changed the lives of people around the world. For many enterprise companies, their data is their business and flash memory can help companies such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Amazon and many others to access and analyze this massive amount of data.”