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How Ingenuity Is Art: Top Invention Stories from February

In 2002, Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space said, “The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin… they are manifestations of the same thing. The art and sciences are avatars of human creativity.” 

How Ingenuity Is Art: Top Invention Stories from February

While creativity is often associated with art in its most traditional sense – sculptures, paintings, photography – Jemison reminds us that scientific innovation is a work of art in itself. In fact, creativity is intrinsically tied to much of our work. Whether we’re building cutaways of our technology, discovering ways to detect disease, or creating a new method to store milk, finding answers to pressing global challenges requires the imaginative ability to see beyond pre-existing ideas.

So this month, the links we love tell tales of artists both within and outside the walls of IV who, like Jemison, use the power of thought as their paintbrush – leaving their mark through inventions that improve our world.

IV in the news

This month, IV spinout Kymeta reached a new milestone in its satellite antenna internet technology for connected vehicles. Find out about its successful demo of the tech from GeekWire. The technology disruptor connecting our world was also named to Fast Company’s top-10 most innovative companies in space.

IV’s work with the University of Washington and Duke University on wireless charging technology was featured on Seattle’s KIRO7 and described as “pushing the boundaries of physics.”

IV is working on a device to detect fake drugs that can be easily accessed in the developing world. Learn more in The Guardian about IV’s collaborative effort with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and how it could save lives.

At IV, we’re working to make Nikola Tesla’s dream of wireless charging a reality using metamaterials. Hear firsthand from IV’s Russell Hannigan on the technology that could be charging drones wirelessly in the near future.  

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Kymeta’s Latest: Blazing a Trail Toward Total Connectivity

Stephen Hawking once remarked, “We are all now connected by the internet, like neurons in a giant brain.”

Kymeta’s Latest: Blazing a Trail Toward Total Connectivity

Image courtesy of Kymeta

Technology has enabled us to achieve a higher level of global interconnectivity than ever before. Yet even in our modern world of smartphones and wireless internet, there are still loose ends – those places around the world where connectivity is still limited. Kymeta, an IV spinout, is working to change this by delivering on what connectivity is meant to be – secure, available, universal and global. Harnessing the power of metamaterials, Kymeta is creating high-speed, global connectivity that can be easily accessed on land, out to sea, or high in the sky.

Since our last post about Kymeta’s mTenna™ technology, the company has made major moves worth sharing. Its innovation over the last several months have propelled it one step closer to delivering accessibility from the furthest corners of the Earth, including today's announcement that its 20 cm mTenna™ successfully connected to the Intelsat S.A. satellite constellation.  

Fast Company named Kymeta one of 2017 “World’s Most Innovative Companies”

Congratulations to Kymeta for being named to Fast Company’s top-10 most innovative companies in space earlier this month. “Anyone whose DIRECTV has dropped out during a flight will appreciate Kymeta’s flat-panel antennas, which use electronic steering to connect with low and medium earth orbit satellites and provide broadband speeds for fast-moving vehicles. Train commuters would no longer have to rely on cellular towers and cargo ships would gain access to improved navigation features. Even your car could get better connectivity,” said Fast Company on the impact of Kymeta’s technology.

Kymeta to bring high-speed connectivity to civilian armored vehicles

This month, Kymeta announced plans to work with Aurum Security GmbH to bring Kymeta mTenna™ satellite connectivity to VIP and civilian armored vehicles (CAV). This means high bandwidth connectivity can be accessed by VIPs, government officials and royalty no matter where they are in the world.

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IV’s Best Nine of 2016: Nine Pictures Worth 9,000 Words

The first photograph made in a camera was taken in the 1820s. Because of the early photographic process, the image is difficult to view. In fact, at first glance, it can be hard to see the image at all. However, if viewed from a specific angle and in specific lighting, the image’s unique story comes to life. Almost 200 years later, this notion that an image has the power to capture a pivotal moment in time if taken and viewed in the right circumstances still holds true. Some images need context. Others require the photographer to zoom in, zoom out, or even change the angle of the camera, to tell the full story.

IV’s Best Nine of 2016: Nine Pictures Worth 9,000 Words

As 2016 comes to a close, we’re depicting the year of ideas, inspiration and invention through nine of our favorite pictures that were taken at just the right moment in time. Because while the world of invention propels us forward quickly, it’s important to remember the milestones of progress that helped us get where we are today.

This year, IV’s Global Good won the USPTO Patents for Humanity Award for harnessing the power of invention to solve humanity’s biggest challenges. Among the team’s technology that is changing lives is the Arktek™ – a device that can store a month’s supply of vaccines in 100-degree heat without electricity. This photograph was captured last summer, when a team from Global Good traveled to Ethiopia’s Danakil Desert to observe how the Arktek is helping the community. Explore the impact the Arktek is making across Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, India, Nepal and Fiji here

Photo credit: Peter Prato

IV founder and CEO Nathan Myhrvold shared his thoughts on the innovation landscape and emerging technologies with many different audiences this year. He was the keynote speaker at the annual Bloomberg Technology Conference where he spoke about IV’s unique approach to inventing and his top tips on what it takes to be a good inventor. Nathan also took part in a “fireside chat” at this year’s GeekWire Summit where he covered metamaterials, investing in invention and creating technology to transform lives. Finally, Nathan spoke at the Science|Business Horizon2020 conference in Brussels about the importance of risk-taking in innovation.

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Top 16 Invention Stories That Had You Talking in 2016

Transformative invention requires an element of idealism – calling on the dreamers, visionaries and optimists who imagine a better world. But truly life-changing invention demands more than just an imagination for a brighter future. There needs to be an element of pragmatism in invention – a trailblazer who creates an idea that bridges the gap between a vision for the distant future, and reality in the here and now. 

Top 16 Invention Stories That Had You Talking in 2016

It is in this space – where idealism meets ideas – that the magic of invention is brought to life. And as we look back on the 2016 inventions created around the world, and within our own walls at IV, we find inventors who pictured a better world and found a solution to make it happen. So before ringing in the New Year, join us as we share our favorite stories of what was achieved this year through the magic of invention.

Intellectual Ventures Invents for Impact

IV’s flow-based diagnostic malaria test was profiled in Scientific American. Want more on how IV is innovating to fight malaria? Senior vice president of Global Good & Research Maurizio Vecchione joined Seattle’s top thought leaders to share his thoughts on the best approach to eradicating malaria by 2040.

This year, Puget Sound Business Journal took readers on a tour of IV Lab – home to a rocket engine, a particle accelerator, a simulated dinosaur tail and most importantly, our team of problem solvers.

Nathan Myhrvold shared his thoughts on what it takes to be a good inventor at the Bloomberg Top Tech Conferencediscussing the current invention environment and offering insight into what he looks for before investing in technologies like artificial intelligence. 

Global Good won the WGHA’s Pioneers of Global Health ‘Outstanding Organization’ Award and the USPTO Patents for Humanity Award for its invention of Arktek™, which is helping to save lives in countries with the lowest immunization rates in the world.

The Invention Science Fund partnered with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) to harness the vast potential of 3D printing technologies in new ways.

IV president and COO Adriane Brown was featured in Seattle Business.

The need to close the patenting gender gap and encourage more women to pursue STEM made received sustained national attention this year, making headlines in U.S. News and World Report, among others. IV also weighed in on the importance of diversity in driving innovation and helped to foster an interest in STEM among girls in the local Seattle community with Expanding your Horizons Network.

IV was a finalist for the Association for Financial Professionals Pinnacle Award, an annual award recognizing the leading finance groups for innovation, collaboration and results.

Global Good worked with Worthington Industries and the Indian Oil Corporation to launch its AI Shield in Tanzania and India, respectively. The technology helps cattle and dairy farmers by improving artificial insemination conception rates among livestock.

Inspiration through Invention

Kymeta CEO and president Nathan Kundtz wants to use metamaterials to change the world. He spoke with Puget Sound Business Journal to talk about bringing “a high-speed internet connection to anything that moves.”

Robert Fischell, inventor of the rechargeable pacemaker and the implantable insulin pump, shared a look into his problem-solving approach and creative process.

In these TED talks, seven young inventors tell stories of how they are finding innovative approaches to world health problems like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and asthma.

President Obama awarded 21 Americans who have “helped push America forward” with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Of the 21 recipients, five have made contributions in tech and three of those are women.

Washington state ranked top in the nation for technology. Bonus: The article featured an image from IV’s very own IV Lab.

Imaging scientist and social impact inventor Ramesh Raskar won the Lemelson-MIT Prize for his Femto-photography work that is, quite literally, impacting how we see the world.

The new innovation hub at the University of Washington is fostering the next generation of inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs and making an impact in the Seattle community.

Want to catch all the 2017 invention news as its happening? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter

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Invention Science Fund Partnering with NAMIC to Create New 3D Printing Technologies

There’s hardly an industry 3D printing doesn’t promise to revolutionize. From rocket engine injectors to life-like prosthetics, it’s undeniable that 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a huge field of technological opportunity. 

Invention Science Fund Partnering with NAMIC to Create New 3D Printing Technologies

An ultrasonic scan of a 3D-printed stainless steel block shows a pattern of voids (red dots) printed beneath the surface. The voids are clearly visible, and simple image processing software can read the pattern – in this case, an 8-digit embedded code.

As a global inventions company, Intellectual Ventures (IV) is proud to collaborate with institutions that are similarly committed to building a global innovation ecosystem. Recently, IV’s Invention Science Fund (ISF) partnered with National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) to further develop 3D printing machine and service capabilities with a wide-range of potential market applications.

Located in Singapore, NAMIC is led by NTUitive, the innovation and enterprise company of Nanyang Technological University, in partnership with the National University of Singapore, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Nanyang Technological University, SPRING Singapore, Economic Development Board and National Research Foundation under the Prime Minister’s office. “We’re extremely proud to partner with the fantastic organizations in Singapore,” said Jerome Hewlett, ISF vice president, “as we continue to establish a pioneering future together.”

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Staff Spotlight: Gary McKnight, Ph.D., Scientific Program Manager

With deep and broad knowledge in the bio sciences and a focus on biotechnology, Gary McKnight, Ph.D., is always up-to-date on the latest scientific advances as he pushes to identify the next breakthrough. For National Inventors Month, we sat down with Gary to hear more about his background and perspective on invention.  

Staff Spotlight: Gary McKnight, Ph.D., Scientific Program Manager

What was your path to Intellectual Ventures (IV)?

My academic background is in radiation biology, genetics and biochemistry, and I spent a good deal of time studying human genes and cellular metabolism. I worked for a biotech company for 25 years and during that time, I was involved in both yeast and human genetics. Towards the end of my time there, I was focused on bioinformatics, as the head of information services which included the library. With my background and understanding as it relates the bio sciences, I ended up here at IV, working under Rod Hyde with the Invention Science Fund (ISF).

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Staff Spotlight: Kate Sharadin, Senior Director, Business Development

After nearly two decades on Wall Street and five years running a private consulting practice, Kate joined Intellectual Ventures (IV) to lead healthcare efforts focused on future invention strategy with the Invention Science Fund (ISF) and commercialization of existing inventions. With deep business knowledge in the healthcare and life sciences industries, Kate is focused on contributing to the business of invention that enables our world to become smarter, more livable, more prosperous, and simply, better.

Staff Spotlight: Kate Sharadin, Senior Director, Business Development

What inspires you most about what you do?

The people that I get to work with. I work with the leading minds in medicine and science around the globe. More importantly, on the inside here at IV, we’ve got many of the most advanced minds in so many disciplines, some of the most prolific inventors in the world. I’m able to shepherd those ideas and make business sense of them – the ultimate goal is always to do as much as we can with those inventions.

My work has also pushed me to think more creatively. That’s something I’ve always wanted, to be more creative in generating ideas, and that’s what I’ve experienced at IV. I’m a part of so many fascinating projects, and I’m right at the genesis of all these ideas and innovations. The wide variety of things we’re responsible for and the jobs we are doing here is just, well, fun and intellectually challenging.

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Staff Spotlight: Matthew Wahlrab, Manager, IP and Market Analytics

Matthew Wahlrab is constantly thinking innovation. As a Manager of IP and Market Analytics at Intellectual Ventures (IV) working in the Invention Science Fund (ISF), he’s relentlessly looking for ways to help customers solve vexing problems. Even during a recent vacation in Italy, while walking the halls of the Uffizi and marveling at the influence of the Renaissance, Matthew was taking cues from the past as inspiration for the future.

Staff Spotlight: Matthew Wahlrab, Manager, IP and Market Analytics

What is your background and what led you to where you are now?

I pursued a double biology major at UC Santa Barbara. Then, as a senior, I met someone in a scuba class who started telling me about this great field where you could be on the cutting edge of innovation and invention. I ended up accepting a position with him, and with that came the opportunity to get a degree in electrical engineering. I worked with a number of different companies and organizations who were looking to protect their intellectual property (IP), and architected patent portfolios to support their business needs. Then one day my phone rang, and I was lucky enough to land a job here at IV. I thought for sure I was going to go into genetics research, but I ended up with an MBA, a broad science background, and now I get to bring all of that to the table each day for ISF where we’re focused on inventing and innovation in information and communication technologies, biotech, geo-engineering, and agriculture, among others.

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