Olympus Announces 2008 Winners of Olympus Innovation Awards

Program Recognizes Innovative Educators from Stanford University,

University of Maryland and San Diego State University

Mar 24, 2008, 01:00 ET from Olympus

    CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, a precision
 technology leader creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare,
 life science and consumer electronics products, today announced the 2008
 winners in the Olympus Innovation Award Program: Tom Byers, Ph.D. and Tina
 Seelig, Ph.D., Stanford University; David F. Barbe, Ph.D., University of
 Maryland; and Martina Musteen, Ph.D., San Diego State University. The
 Program recognizes individuals who have fostered and demonstrated
 innovative thinking in education. The winners received their awards at the
 12th Annual Meeting of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators
 Alliance (NCIIA), Olympus' partner in conducting the program.
     "At Olympus, we understand the value and power of innovation, since it
 is at the core of every new technology we pioneer," stated F. Mark Gumz,
 president and chief operating officer of Olympus America Inc. "We are proud
 of the continuing success of the Innovation Awards as they recognize
 innovation in U.S. academia, which will foster the next generation of
 business leaders."
     "Every year, we are amazed at how the programs and innovators that
 comprise the award candidates continue to get stronger," said NCIIA
 executive director Phil Weilerstein. "We had an excellent selection of
 candidates this year, and the winners had unique programs that demonstrated
 the tremendous impact they had on their students and universities, as well
 as their academic peers."
     Stanford professors Tom Byers and Tina Seelig, co-founders of the
 Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), which encourages top
 engineering and science schools worldwide to include entrepreneurship as
 part of their curricula, won the Olympus Innovation Award. This award
 recognizes faculty who foster an environment of innovative thinking among
 students through inventive teaching methods and hands-on opportunities. At
 STVP, Byers and Seelig also develop and offer courses, conferences,
 internships and research activities.
     Martina Musteen, assistant professor at the College of Business
 Administration at San Diego State University, received the Olympus Emerging
 Educational Leader Award. This award recognizes an individual who has
 inspired innovative thinking in students in a discrete area and who, the
 judges believe, has the potential to make even greater contributions to the
 field in the future. Musteen was also recognized for giving students the
 opportunity to work with international entrepreneurial companies to expand
 their global market opportunities.
     David Barbe, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the
 University of Maryland and executive director of the Maryland Technology
 Enterprise Institute (MTECH), won the Olympus Lifetime of Educational
 Innovation Award. This award recognizes faculty members who have
 demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout their careers to
 stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students in their own
 universities and throughout academia. Barbe has a proven record of
 leadership in creating one of the leading innovative technology
 entrepreneurship cultures at a U.S. university, through successful programs
 such as the university's Hinman CEOs program and its Technology Startup
 boot camp, both of which have become models that are replicated nationwide,
 as well as through the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program.
     The Olympus Innovation Award Program, now in its fourth year,
 represents Olympus' ongoing commitment to technological innovation and
 education. For more information on the Innovation Award Program, as well as
 photos from the award ceremony, please visit www.olympuspresspass.com,
 contact the NCIIA at info@nciia.org, or visit www.nciia.org.
     About Olympus
     Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative
 opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics
     Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its affiliates
 worldwide to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and
 manufacturing processes across diverse business lines.
These include: -- Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products; -- Advanced clinical and research microscopes; -- Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents; -- Digital cameras and voice recorders. Olympus serves healthcare and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com. About NCIIA The NCIIA was established in 1995 with support from The Lemelson Foundation. Its mission is to foster invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in higher education -- components of the higher education curriculum that are vital to the nation's economic future. The NCIIA accomplishes its goals by supporting curricula and programs that encourage the development and the work of E-Teams -- multidisciplinary teams of students, faculty, and industry mentors working together to take an idea for a technological innovation and bring it through prototype development to commercialization. The "E" stands for excellence and entrepreneurship.

SOURCE Olympus