Olympus Launches National Innovation Award Program for 2008

Sep 20, 2007, 01:00 ET from Olympus

    CENTER VALLEY, Pa., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, a precision
 technology leader creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare,
 life science and consumer electronics products, today announced the Olympus
 Innovation Award Program for 2008. The national program, executed by
 Olympus in partnership with the National Collegiate Inventors and
 Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), recognizes individuals who have fostered or
 demonstrated innovative thinking in education.
     The awards will be given to faculty nominees chosen from among the
 nearly 200 member institutions of 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 12th
 Annual Meeting in Dallas on March 21, 2008.
     "Innovation is at the core of every new technology we have pioneered at
 Olympus," stated F. Mark Gumz, president and chief operating officer of
 Olympus America Inc. "For this reason, we understand the importance of
 encouraging and rewarding the curiosity that promotes innovative thinking.
 The Olympus Innovation Award Program with the NCIIA is designed to
 recognize innovation in U.S. academia to foster tomorrow's pioneering
 business leaders."
     The Olympus Innovation Award Program, now in its fourth 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.
     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 candidates' methods and philosophies have inspired
 students, and detail the resulting student innovations. The winner will
 receive a $10,000 prize 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
 in their own universities and throughout academia. The winner will receive
 a $2,500 prize 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.
     "The Olympus Innovation Award Program has recognized excellence in
 curricular innovation and high impact teaching methods that foster
 innovative thinking," said Phil Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA,
 based in Hadley, Mass. "We are delighted to continue building the
 partnership between the NCIIA and Olympus."
     Judges for all three awards will include David E. Barlow, Ph.D., Vice
 President of Research & Development for Medical Systems at Olympus America;
 Phil Weilerstein, NCIIA; 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.
     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, 2007. For more
 information about the Olympus Innovation Award Program, contact the NCIIA
 at info@nciia.org, or visit www.nciia.org.
     Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative
 opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics
 products. 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
     -- 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.
     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