The National Inventors Hall Of Fame Ignites First-Ever Innovation Movement

Powered by Innovation Echo, Inductees and Change Agents Set Out to Break Barriers of Innovation to Inspire Next Generation of Creative Minds

May 15, 2015, 12:20 ET from National Inventors Hall of Fame

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Inventors Hall of Fame, in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), joined forces to launch the Innovation Echo Movement, which officially kicked off during the Tomorrow's Brightest Days forum at The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on May 13, 2015 in Washington D.C.

"As the largest non-profit dedicated to innovation, we are tirelessly devoted to uncovering the origin of knowledge in order to make innovation relatable and to continuously inspire the next generation of creative minds," said Invent Now, Inc. CEO Michael Oister. "The Innovation Echo Movement looks to changemakers and trailblazers, such as the participants of our forum, to serve as the foundation of the movement that instills the drive to think, make and create in every American."

Moderated by Mo Rocca, Emmy-winning CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and Host of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation, The Innovation Echo: Tomorrow's Brightest Days forum was broadcasted live to a national audience via UStream. The discussion explored the inspiration behind the world's most renowned inventors, innovators and change agents and encouraged panelists to share what is needed to keep America moving forward. The forum officially launched the Innovation Echo Movement, which challenges every American to think about innovation as a tangible and relatable way to exercise creative problem-solving. Panel participants included:

  • Steve Sasson, inventor of the digital camera, 2011 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee 
  • Kristina M. Johnson, pioneer in polarization-control technology, 2015 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee, former Under Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy
  • Russell Slifer, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Matt McFarland, The Washington Post, Editor of Innovations
  • Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, former District of Columbia Council Member and daughter of the late 2015 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee Charles Drew

"Innovation is about teamwork. Innovation is about working together," said Sasson during the panel. "It's about the expression of ideas. If you start that young, I think we have a really great future to change the normal conversation about innovation."  

Each year, the supporters and experts behind Innovation Echo will identify a new challenge to inspire Americans to create solutions that solve current and future issues. Because energy supply in its current form is limited, the Innovation Echo Movement will ignite an energy conservation challenge in 2015 which encourages people to engage in developing cost-effective energy alternatives that will advance our economy while also being environmentally friendly.

"Everyone has the power to use less energy and there is a need to invent ways to peel back on energy consumption," said Kristina Johnson. "It's all making innovation happen. It doesn't really matter whether you win a Nobel Prize or not, it's just about doing it."

All Invent Now programs, including the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Collegiate Inventors Competition, and Camp Invention, are powered by Innovation Echo. Camp Invention has incorporated a take home project into its curriculum, called the Bright Ideas Kit, and will encourage students and parents to come up with energy conservation ideas and prototypes at home. Ideas will be shared on social media and one lucky participant will have the opportunity to attend the 2016 National Inventors Hall of Fame ceremony next May. The Collegiate Inventors Competition is also celebrating the launch with a new award category, the "Innovation Echo Award," which honors a Competition Finalist for his or her enthusiasm, spirit, and dedication to innovation. Competition Expo attendees will vote for the recipient of the award, and the award recipient will be invited to the 2016 National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

In addition to Invent Now's programs, Dr. Jarvis encouraged educators and policy makers to get involved. "Let's tell teachers in grade schools to reward curiosity. Let's tell them to tell the kids to look at 'how does this work?' and 'how can I make this better?' We must encourage the stimulation that will get you a budding scientist or engineer. If that is done, the kids will then say 'I have to know more.' That will lead to the pathway of more STEM outcomes."

National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees will also participate in the activation of Innovation Echo within Camp Invention and the Collegiate Inventors Competition. These world-renowned Inductees will encourage everyone to join the movement by starting the innovation conversation with their colleagues and friends and by supporting Invent Now's programs.

"Innovation doesn't have to be complex," said Russell Slifer, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). "Similar to the notion that anyone and everyone can obtain a patent, everyone has the power to come up with an original concept. We look forward to seeing more from Innovation Echo and can't wait to see what new ideas will emerge from this great project."

For more information, please visit and view the complete Innovation Echo: Tomorrow's Brightest Days forum discussion here. To get involved in the conversation use hashtag #InnoEcho15 and to share your creative energy solutions use the hashtag #ThinkMakeCreate.

About the National Inventors Hall of Fame:
The National Inventors Hall of Fame is the premier non-profit organization in America dedicated to honoring legendary inventors whose innovations and entrepreneurial endeavors have changed the world. Founded in 1973 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Association, the Hall of Fame will have 516 Inductees with its 2015 Induction. The National Inventors Hall of Fame is located in the atrium of the Madison Building on the campus of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Va., Admission is free and the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays and Federal holidays. Arrangements for the appearance of Mo Rocca made through Greater Talent Network, Inc., New York, NY. For more information on the National Inventors Hall of Fame, including Inductee nomination forms and a full listing of Inductees, please visit

About Camp Invention:
Camp Invention is the only nationally recognized summer program focused on creativity, innovation, real-world problem solving and the spirit of invention. Through hands-on programming, Camp Invention encourages children in grades one through six to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum inspired by some the world's great inventors. Camp Invention, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the Collegiate Inventors Competition serve as the authority on inspiring invention and compose Invent Now. This nationwide nonprofit organization is committed to the curious minds and innovative spirits of the past, present and future. Since 1990, our education programs have served over 1 MILLION children and 125,000 teachers and Leadership Interns.

About Collegiate Inventors Competition:
For 25 years the Collegiate Inventors Competition has recognized and rewarded undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to research, discovery, invention, and innovation as they address the problems of today's world. The Competition specifically recognizes and rewards the innovations, discoveries, and research by college and university students and their advisors for projects leading to inventions that may have the potential of receiving patent protection. Introduced in 1990, the Competition has awarded more than $1 million to winning students for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors.

About Invent Now:
The mission of Invent Now is to be a catalyst for change through recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Invent Now was founded in 1973 as the National Inventors Hall of Fame with the mission of recognizing and honoring the great inventors of our time. Now a supporting organization of Invent Now, Inc., the National Inventors Hall of Fame honors individuals in recognition of their patented inventions that have created entire industries and driven this nation's economic progress.

About the United States Patent and Trademark Office:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." The USPTO registers trademarks based on the commerce clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). Under this system of protection, American industry has flourished. New products have been invented, new uses for old ones discovered, and employment opportunities created for millions of Americans. The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs. The USPTO is at the cutting edge of the nation's technological progress and achievement.

Beth Thompson

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SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame