Inspiring invention

April 13, 2004

Arlington, VA-Pointing out that invention requires both ingenuity and a skilled workforce, a new report to be released this month says that the United States must take action now to maintain its position as the world invention leader.

Through five National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported workshops, the Lemelson-MIT Program, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,, collaborated with many of the nation's leading experts to examine the factors that drive invention. The findings and recommendations from the workshops are presented in the report "INVENTION: Enhancing inventiveness for quality of life, competitiveness and sustainability."

The report will be released Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at the National Press Club, in the first of several events that will highlight the critical roles of invention and inventiveness in society.

On the evening of April 22, the D.C. Science Writers Association, the Lemelson-MIT Program and NSF will host several renowned inventors in a special panel discussing both the report and the nature of inventiveness. Several of the speakers will showcase their inventions, and all will discuss the factors that drive them to continue to invent. (Seating is limited-please RSVP at

On April 23, the National Academy of Engineering will host the main event, the Invention Assembly, a day-long conference featuring leading academics, decisions makers and business people who have examined the topic of invention from the perspectives of history, cognitive science, education, intellectual property law and sustainable development. Highlights include remarks and panel participation from NSF's Acting Director, Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF Deputy Director Joseph Bordogna, National Academy of Engineering President William A. Wulf, MIT President Charles M. Vest and many others. The Assembly will provide a forum for the review and discussion of the report, its recommendations and next steps for policy makers.

At a black-tie ceremony that evening, Thomas L. Magnanti, dean of the MIT School of Engineering, will present the 2004 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention. The $500,000 prize is the world's largest, single cash award for invention. The winner of the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award will also be recognized.



National Press Club Newsmakers Event
featuring best-selling author Lester Thurow and Lemelson-MIT
Program Director Merton C. Flemings Release of Report:
"Invention: Enhancing inventiveness for quality of life and sustainability"
April 21, 2004, 12:00 PM

National Press Club Zenger Room
529 14th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20045
D.C. Science Writers Association Invention Assembly preview and panel
April 22, 2004, 6:30 PM
Rooms 110 and 130
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Va. 22230

2004 Lemelson-MIT Invention Assembly April 23, 2004, 8:00 AM
National Academy of Sciences Building 2101 Constitution Avenue
N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418
For more information, contact: Josh Chamot, 703-292-7730, or
M. Mitchell Waldrop, 703-292-7752,

Lemelson-MIT Program contact: Kristin Joyce, 617-258-0632, kjoyce@MIT.EDU

NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Receive official National Science Foundation news electronically through the e-mail delivery system, NSFnews. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to In the body of the message, type "subscribe nsfnews" and then type your name. (Ex.: "subscribe nsfnews John Smith")

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