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Cambridge, Mass., October 1, 2008 — The Lemelson-MIT Program invites MIT graduate students and graduating seniors who have created or improved a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, or redesigned a system to apply for the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventiveness. The application deadline is Wednesday, December 10, 2008.

Past Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners have garnered national media coverage from outlets such as CNN, The Associated Press, NPR, Newsweek, TIME magazine, and Science,which has helped them gain valuable exposure to the investment community. The prize money has enabled many winners to further develop their inventive ideas or finance start-up companies.

“From a head-on view, the prize money and publicity attached to winning the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize have been of incomparable benefit to my startup company's efforts to commercialize the ATLAS Powered Rope Ascender,” said Nathan Ball, 2007 winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize. “The Lemelson-MIT Program's recognition launched our work further forward.”

Andrew Heafitz, 2002 winner, earned a contract with the U.S. Air Force after he was featured on TV as a result of winning the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.

The Lemelson-MIT Program may choose to award $1,000 to one or two finalists among the applicants. The winner and finalist(s) will be invited to attend a four-day workshop that focuses on strategic development and venture opportunities for technology entrepreneurs.

Interested students need to complete an online application, which includes a description of his or her inventiveness while at MIT, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume or CV. Students must review the details about eligibility and criteria before they begin the process. Questions may be directed to the Lemelson-MIT Program Officer: lemelson_awards@mit.edu. The winner will be announced at a press conference in February 2009. The Lemelson-MIT Program also funds student prizes at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, California Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois.

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by the Lemelson Foundation, which is a private philanthropy that celebrates and supports inventors and entrepreneurs to strengthen social and economic life.

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