Winners of 2007 Olympus Innovation Award Program Announced

Program Recognizes Innovative Educators from Cornell University, Rensselaer

Polytechnic Institute and University of California, Santa Barbara

Mar 26, 2007, 01:00 ET from Olympus

    CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, a precision
 technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in
 healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products, today announced
 the 2007 winners in the Olympus Innovation Award Program: Dr. Deborah
 Streeter, Cornell University; Burt Swersey, Rensselaer Polytechnic
 Institute (RPI); and William Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara
 (UCSB). The program recognizes individuals who have fostered and
 demonstrated innovative thinking in higher education. The winners received
 their awards from George Steares, vice president emeritus, Olympus America,
 in Tampa, Fla., at the 11th Annual Meeting of the National Collegiate
 Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), Olympus' partner in conducting
 the program.
     "Congratulations to the 2007 winners of the Olympus Innovation Award
 Program," said Steares. "I was most impressed with their innovative
 teaching methods and the profound impact they have had on so many students
 to become successful inventors and entrepreneurs. Fostering innovation and
 entrepreneurship, a key element of Olympus' management philosophy, is
 essential for companies to succeed in the U.S. and even more so
     Phil Weilerstein, NCIIA executive director, added, "The 2007 winners
 once again illustrate the essential role that higher education can play in
 grooming this country's next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. We
 are pleased about the visibility and the high quality of applications the
 Olympus Innovation Award Program is enjoying and look forward to continuing
 our partnership with Olympus to make the program even more successful."
     Streeter, 54, the Bruce F. Failing, senior associate professor of
 personal enterprise in Cornell University's Department of Applied Economics
 and Management, won the Olympus Innovation Award in recognition for her
 contributions to Cornell and, more broadly, for being a pioneer in
 innovation and entrepreneurship education. The judges were particularly
 impressed with Streeter's "e-Clips" initiative, a collection of more than
 6,000 digital video clips on entrepreneurship, the world's largest such
 online collection.
     Created from in-depth interviews or presentations by entrepreneurs;
 venture capitalists, bankers and other start-up capital providers; as well
 as employees of start-up companies, e-Clips provides rich media curricular
 material (video, audio) to easily help educators share rich information on
 entrepreneurship with their students. To date, the database has attracted
 users from 70 countries and nearly 800 different universities. As part of
 her award, Streeter will receive $10,000.
     Swersey, 70, lecturer in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and
 Nuclear Engineering at RPI, won the Olympus Lifetime of Educational
 Innovation Award for his dedication to innovative thinking and his
 commitment to his students and their learning. Prior to joining RPI,
 Swersey was a successful innovator in the medical field. He developed a
 number of important inventions, including an extremely accurate scale to
 weigh patients, including bed and instrumentation, revolutionizing the
 treatment of water losses in patients with severe burns. For the past 18
 years, Swersey has taught the ideals and methods of innovation and has
 served as a role model to students. Many of these students have made
 significant impacts, either as entrepreneurs or as product designers for
 well-established companies, accumulating patents and business plan
 competition awards. Swersey's award includes a $2,500 prize.
     Grant, 54, program manager of the Technology Management Program at
 UCSB's Center for Entrepreneurship & Engineering Management, received the
 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award for his work at UCSB in creating
 and managing extracurricular activities that enable students to network and
 share knowledge and experience with successful scientists, entrepreneurs
 and other business experts. Grant facilitates this dialogue through
 intimate working luncheons, small seminars, lectures and his "On the Edge"
 radio program on KCSB91.9FM. Created and hosted by Grant and UCSB students,
 the weekly show features successful entrepreneurs and innovators and
 discusses how ideas become inventions. In recognition of his work, Grant
 will receive $1,000.
     Streeter, Swersey and Grant were among numerous qualified professionals
 nominated by colleagues at NCIIA member institutions, including many top
 colleges and research institutions in the United States. The Olympus
 Innovation Award Program, now in its third year, represents Olympus'
 ongoing commitment to technological innovation and education. For more
 information about the program, see the backgrounder at, and contact the NCIIA at or visit
     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
     * 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
     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

SOURCE Olympus