Olympus Launches National Innovation Award Program for 2007

Sep 18, 2006, 01:00 ET from Olympus

    CENTER VALLEY, Pa., Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, a precision
 technology leader, designing and delivering imaging solutions in
 healthcare, life science and photography, today announced the Olympus
 Innovation Award Program for 2007. The national program, offered by Olympus
 in partnership with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators
 Alliance (NCIIA), recognizes individuals who have fostered or demonstrated
 innovative thinking in higher education.
     The awards will be given to faculty nominees chosen from among the
 nearly 200 member institutions of the NCIIA, a national alliance of
 colleges and universities fostering invention, innovation and
 entrepreneurship in U.S. higher education. Olympus will present the awards
 at the NCIIA's 11th Annual Meeting in Tampa, Fla., on March 22, 2007.
     "Innovation has been and increasingly will continue to be key for
 business success in the ever more interconnected global marketplace,"
 stated F. Mark Gumz, president and chief operating officer of Olympus
 America Inc. "At Olympus, we understand the power of encouraging and
 rewarding curiosity to promote innovative thinking. Our awards program with
 the NCIIA is designed to recognize innovation in U.S. academia, which will
 foster the next generation of business leaders."
     The Olympus Innovation Award program, now in its third year, represents
 Olympus' ongoing commitment to technological innovation and education. The
 program includes three awards: the Olympus Innovation Award, the Olympus
 Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award and the Olympus Emerging
 Educational Leader Award. Each winner will receive a cash prize and a
 commemorative award.
     The Olympus Innovation Award recognizes a faculty member who fosters an
 environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive
 teaching methods and hands-on educational opportunities. Nominations will
 demonstrate how the nominees' methods and philosophies have inspired
 students, and will detail the resulting student innovations. The winner
 will receive a $10,000 award.
     The Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award recognizes a
 faculty member who has demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout his
 or her career to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students
 at the home university and throughout academia. The winner will receive a
 $2,500 award.
     The Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award, whose winner will
 receive a $1,000 prize, 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.
     "Since its inception, the Olympus Innovation Award program has
 recognized excellence in teaching methods and curricula that foster
 innovative thinking, and has drawn a strong group of nominees," said Phil
 Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA. "We are pleased to continue our
 partnership with Olympus and look forward to receiving nominations for
     Judges for all three awards will include John Ochs, professor of
 mechanical engineering, Lehigh University and winner of the 2006 Olympus
 Innovation Award; George E. Steares, vice president emeritus, Scientific
 Equipment Group, Olympus America(1); Phil Weilerstein; Dr. Abigail Barrow,
 founding director, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center; and Dr. Arthur
 A. Boni, deputy director and John R. Thorne, professor, Donald H. Jones
 Center for Entrepreneurship, Carnegie Mellon University as well as an
 additional distinguished member from among the NCIIA membership.
     Olympus and the NCIIA are soliciting nominations for the awards
 beginning immediately. Students, faculty, and others at NCIIA institutions
 of higher learning in the U.S. may nominate qualified educators by logging
 in at http://www.nciia.org/login until November 16, 2006. For more
 information about the Olympus Innovation Award, contact the NCIIA at
 info@nciia.org, or visit http://www.nciia.org.
     Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering
 imaging solutions in healthcare, life science and photography.
     Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent
 company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in
 precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business
     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
     * Digital and film cameras and digital voice recorders.
     In the U.S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare and commercial
 laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial,
 educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently,
 reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the
 leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational
 microscopes. The company's consumer products business spans North and South
 America. For more information, visit http://www.olympusamerica.com.
     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.
     (1) Effective April 1, 2006, the Scientific Equipment Group has been part
         of Olympus America's new Life Science Group, which also includes the
         Diagnostic Systems Group and the Life Science Business Development

SOURCE Olympus