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USPTO, NSF and NBC Launch “Science of Innovation” Series


Written by United States Patent and Trademark Office
Posted: February 11, 2013 @ 2:01 pm
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, today launched an 11-part “Science of Innovation” series to coincide with the 165th birthday of American inventor Thomas Edison. The program represents the latest intellectual property (IP) education efforts by the USPTO and serves as a public-private partnership leveraging the best strengths of federal agencies, industry, and educators to demonstrate the connection between IP and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Narrated by NBC News’ Ann Curry, the series features innovators from across the country, including scientists and engineers working on projects in industries as diverse as healthcare, energy, transportation, agriculture, and more. “Science of Innovation” looks beyond the popular concept of innovation as the result of a single event or brilliant idea. Instead, it examines the processes and steps that anyone from a garage tinkerer to a federally funded scientist can take to discover new solutions to pressing problems or to add value in new ways to existing products, services or technologies.

“The USPTO has promoted the progress of science and invention since 1790,” said Teresa Stanek Rea, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “Education is the key to encouraging today’s children to become tomorrow’s innovators. These videos and lesson plans are great tools for teachers everywhere to help students learn about intellectual property, while inspiring them to connect the process of innovation with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.”

“America’s unique system of funding innovative ideas helps them move from basic to applied research and, ultimately, into the marketplace,” said Judith Gan, NSF’s director of Legislative and Public Affairs. “NSF is proud to have participated in supporting innumerable scientific and technological innovations, which in turn have helped create millions of jobs that make our economy exceptionally competitive.”

“The next generation of innovators is sitting in our classrooms right now,” said Soraya Gage, general manager of NBC Learn. “Our hope is that this special video series will engage and inspire our students to imagine the next great invention that will improve lives and transform the future.”

“Science of Innovation” is a continuation of the Emmy-winning NSF-NBC “Science of…” partnership that has produced five other educational video series. Each video segment will be available to NBC affiliate stations and on the web for free at NBCLearn.com. In addition, the series is aligned to middle school and high school lesson plans produced by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), as well as national education standards.

Segments feature innovators working on cutting-edge innovations, including bionic limbs, biofuels, anti-counterfeiting devices, and 3-D printing. A full list of videos can be found online at http://www.nbclearn.com/innovation/.

For non-press inquiries, please contact USPTO Education Coordinator Joyce Ward at 571-272-8424 or joyce.ward@uspto.gov.

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