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New Report Cites Need to Foster Invention Among Education, Business and Government Sectors

Washington, DC — The United States cannot take its position as the world leader of invention for granted, according to a new report by the Lemelson-MIT Program with funding from the National Science Foundation. Authored by some of the nation’s leading experts on invention, the report asserts that important sectors—including government, business and education—must actively foster inventiveness to safeguard the United State’s innovative edge in an increasingly competitive global market.

The Lemelson-MIT Program report, INVENTION: Enhancing inventiveness for quality of life, competitiveness and sustainability will be released on Wednesday, April 21 at noon at the National Press Club. The report will be presented for review and discussion at an Invention Assembly on Friday, April 23, at the National Academy of Engineering.

"It is increasingly possible and important today to leverage human ingenuity in the best interests of this nation and its people," said Merton C. Flemings, chair of the committee that produced the report. "The goal of our year-long investigation and Invention Assembly is to develop a multidisciplinary understanding of inventive ingenuity, of how it can be fostered in our youth, and how it can be applied to solving problems of our times."

The Invention Assembly will be a day-long conference featuring leading academics, decision makers and businesspeople who have examined the topic of invention from the perspectives of history, cognitive science, education, intellectual property law and sustainable development.

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Opening remarks from William Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering, and Joseph Bordogna, Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation.

Other speakers include: Merritt Roe Smith (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), David Perkins (Harvard University), Sheri Shepard (Stanford University), Mark B. Myers (University of Pennsylvania), Julia Marton-Lefèvre (LEAD International), and Merton Flemings (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

An afternoon panel discussion will feature: Charles M. Vest (MIT), Paul Horn (IBM), Jane Alexander (Dept. of Homeland Security) and William Wulf.

Friday, April 23, 8:30 AM EDT – 3:15 PM EDT
Continental breakfast and registration begin at 8:30 a.m.
The program will conclude by 3:15 p.m., following a period for audience comments and questions and summary of next steps.

National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20418

Each year, the Lemelson-MIT awards program honors both established and rising inventors, for their ingenuity, creativity and contribution to American invention. This year’s Lemelson-MIT Awards Ceremony will take place on the evening of Friday, April 23rd at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The awards ceremony will serve as the capstone to the Invention Assembly and will honor the 2004 winners of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize and the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to raise the stature of inventors and provide resources and inspiration to make invention and innovation more accessible to today's youth. It accomplishes this mission through outreach activities and annual awards, including the world's largest prize for invention—the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of the world's most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program in 1994 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation, a private philanthropy committed to honoring the contributions of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs, and to inspiring ingenuity in others. More information on the Lemelson-MIT Program is online at http://web.mit.edu/invent.

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