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Posts tagged: National Inventors Month

Wisdom to Inspire Inventors

Thomas Edison said that genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. Anyone who’s tried to transform an idea into a product knows that ratio holds true for invention. While innovation may begin as a flash of genius, it takes hard work to move from idea to proof of concept to working product, and there are moments of both failing and rejoicing along the way.

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A Salute to Edisons Everywhere

Remember the 1980s? MTV launched. The Berlin Wall fell. And people were in hot pursuit of the next great invention. The disposable camera was invented, along with disposable contact lenses. Engineers built a prototype for the first HDTV. The forensic science field was forever changed by the breakthrough of DNA fingerprinting.

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National Inventors Month – We’re all in this Together

Invention doesn’t just happen. At Intellectual Ventures (IV) we understand that it takes hard work, investment, an appetite for risk and a willingness to fail. That’s why we’re proud to support and collaborate with programs and organizations who are taking on big ideas around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) while working to inspire and support future inventors. This National Inventors Month—and every month—we are grateful to the organizations we’re proud to sponsor for ensuring the next generation of innovative thinkers and doers. With their help, we continue forging a world that is constantly moving forward from good to better. 

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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.  

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Which Inventor Mastermind Are You?

Inventors are the masterminds behind all things popular: cell phones, video games, electronic dance music and more. Before these were must-haves, an inventor hovered over a lab bench somewhere, scribbling out plans for new inventions that would amaze and delight millions.

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Behind the Breakthrough for National Inventors Month: Rafal Krepec, Lanomat, Inc. Founder

May is National Inventors Month, and at Intellectual Ventures, we owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who work tirelessly to develop new breakthroughs. All month long, we’ll be featuring their stories on our Insights blog, as well as our TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn profiles. Today on Behind the Breakthrough, we’re featuring inventor and entrepreneur Rafal Krepec of Lanomat, Inc. Rafal invented, patented and is now developing the DuoPad, an innovative dual-mode multi-touch trackpad that offers, not only traditional mouse attributes, but also virtualizes your hand therefore bringing full “touchscreen” functionality so users can utilize touch apps on any monitor. A true “breakthrough” in the world of graphical interface design and computing.

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Reflecting on National Inventors’ Month

I’d like to reflect on the positive impact of inventors and their contributions to society now that National Inventors’ Month is officially over. Thomas Edison, though controversial, was our nation’s most prolific inventor with 1,093 patents to his name. A key to Edison’s success was his ability to harness the power of his team. He believed collaboration powers innovation and would often host midnight lunches with his “muckers” to share insights, brainstorm ideas, and build comradery amongst his diverse team.  

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Wrapping up National Inventors Month

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: inventors and inventing don’t get nearly the recognition they deserve. The end of May officially marks the close of National Inventors Month, but at Intellectual Ventures, every month could (and should) carry the moniker. For their dedication, intellect and hard work, we can’t voice our appreciation for inventors enough. It isn’t hyperbolic to say that without inventors, there wouldn’t be an Intellectual Ventures.

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News You Can Use: Inventing With Impact

Throughout National Inventors’ Month, many outlets have profiled inventors and businesspeople who are changing the world by coming up with new ideas and bringing them to market. At Intellectual Ventures, we too are committed to inventing with impact. In particular, our Global Good division operates with the goal of developing catalytic inventions for some of the world’s poorest markets.

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Celebrating National Inventors’ Month with Insights from Behind the Breakthrough

At Intellectual Ventures, inventors – and their ideas – are integral to our mission of furthering the invention economy to drive innovation around the world. So in March, we premiered a new series called Behind the Breakthrough to highlight the people behind the ideas. In this post, we take a look back at a handful of the conversations we’ve had to showcase the inventions that sparked our discussions.

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Behind the Breakthrough: Pablos Holman

To kick off National Inventor’s Month, this week’s Behind the Breakthrough features super-inventor, hacker, and IV’s resident futurist Pablos Holman. More than a decade ago, Pablos helped create the world’s smallest personal computer – a precursor to modern smartphones and tablets. He maintains a passion for 3D printing, and worked as an advisor to Makerbot.

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In Case You Missed It: National Inventors Month

May is National Inventors Month here in the US. I know, I know. Almost every cause has a national month. In fact, May also happens to be National Pet Month, National Bike Month and National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. You might even think the very idea of inventing sounds quaint and out of date, like the phrase “garage shop tinkerer.” You might think independent inventors disappeared after Thomas Edison. You would be wrong.

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The Next Generation of Inventors

Who will be the 21st century’s Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie, or Nikola Tesla?

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Invention from a Different Angle

When you hear the word invention, what comes to mind? Likely, it’s one or more of the world-changing inventions of the past—the telephone, automobile, computer, steam engine, or sewing machine. Each was useful, novel, and non-obvious, and impacted millions of people’s lives and changed history forever. There continues to be a need for inventions like these, but there’s also room to open the invention red carpet to off-the-wall inventions of the present.

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How to Hack the Invention Process

Those who brave the invention process often discover by trial and error what it takes to succeed. Years of designing, testing, and prototyping—and often failing and re-imagining—can pass after that first “Eureka!” moment. Here’s what successful, modern day inventors we spoke to says it takes to navigate the complicated business of invention.

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Alternate Endings: Inventor Close Ups

What do magnetrons, adhesives, baking, refrigerants, and polymers have in common? To the original inventors of some of today’s most consumed products—microwave ovens, Post-its®, chocolate chip cookies, Teflon®, and Super Glue®—they all led to inventions by accident.

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Rated G: Invention for General Audiences

It’s May 12, the 132nd day of the year, and a great day in history for inventors. Picture this—1792, a toilet that flushes itself at regular intervals is patented; 1908, U.S. patent #887,357 for the “wireless telephone” was granted to Nathan B. Stubblefield; and in 1941, Konrad Zuse publicly unveiled the Z3 programmable computer.

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Six Futurists to Watch

Webster Dictionary defines a futurist as, “one who studies and predicts the future especially on the basis of current trends.” At Intellectual Ventures, we have a slightly different interpretation. For us, futurists are those inventing and innovating for tomorrow. They’re the brilliant minds working to solve problems most of us haven’t yet imagined. In celebration of National Inventors Month, we recognize just a few names the world is expecting big things from.

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Inventors in Motion: The Director’s Cut

Inventors are real-life heroes. We admire them for their intelligence and creativity and for their perseverance and gumption. They embody characteristics we want to see in ourselves and appreciate in others. And beyond the inventions they create to enrich our lives, they are individuals with unique personalities—some are practical, some are entrepreneurs, and others like the limelight.

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