August 31st, 2023
The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has announced a new partnership with the Genspiration Foundation that will help NAI expand their impact on young inventors. The Genspiration Foundation is a family foundation started by Judy Genshaft and Steve Greenbaum that supports initiatives in education and innovation that produce meaningful outcomes and positive impact. The Genspiration Foundation recently bestowed a grant to NAI that will allow them to expand their Student Showcase program, held at their Annual Meeting, that will include two new awards for K-12 and collegiate innovators. The two awards, the Genspiration Young Inventors Award and the Genspiration Collegiate Inventors Award, will be awarded to K-12 and collegiate inventors respectively, with each having either an individual awardee or team awardees. The awards will be given to outstanding young inventors whose innovations have the potential to make a tangible, positive impact on society. The award includes a cash prize, as well as assistance to help the awardees obtain a provisional patent on their invention.
These awards will highlight young inventors whose innovations show great promise of benefiting society, creating economic impact, and expand on the organizations’ joint vision to foster innovation in the next generation of inventors. The Genspiration awards, along with NAI’s newly expanded Student Showcase program, will address the “leaky pipeline” within STEM, in which many underrepresented groups drop from STEM fields due to lack of representation and resources. By recognizing and rewarding inventors from a young age, the program aims to keep young inventors engaged in the sciences and the innovation ecosystem and provide them with the resources to not only succeed, but to thrive.
“We are excited about this opportunity to expand our Student Showcase program to be accessible to even more young innovators,” said Jamie Renee, Executive Director of NAI. “The innovation landscape is changing and now more than ever, we need more resources to encourage and recognize inventors from a young age. We are grateful to the Genspiration Foundation and that they have recognized the same needs and are working with us to ensure that our next generation inventors feel supported.”
The awards and the expansion of the showcase are also unique in that it will recognize both collegiate and K-12 innovators. While there are a handful of programs in the U.S. that focus on innovation at a collegiate level, the K-12 age group is currently underserved with a lack of programs focusing on teaching and encouraging invention and translational research. This endeavor will be NAI’s first foray into the K-12 space, with the goal of expanding their programs further to provide resources and guidance for the underserved age group. The expansion of NAI’s Student Showcase with these awards will also provide a large boon to collegiate level inventors. The showcase has always provided participants with the opportunity to connect with and learn from experts from around the globe, as well as the chance to showcase their innovations to NAI Annual Meeting attendees in the business and government sectors. The Genspiration Awards will now introduce the chance to help both age groups obtain a patent on their invention and guidance on how to move their innovation into the marketplace.
An exclusive announcement about the awards was delivered by Genspiration Foundation co-founders Judy Genshaft and Steve Greenbaum during the Next Generation Inventors Panel at NAI’s 12th Annual Meeting on June 26th, preceding NAI’s annual Student Showcase.
“We are excited that these awards will give the Genspiration Foundation the opportunity to recognize and celebrate young inventors whose ideas and innovations are creating solutions for a better tomorrow,” said Judy Genshaft. “NAI has been recognizing and celebrating inventors and their societal impacts for over a decade. Their work aligns with the Foundation’s mission and we are confident that our partnership with them will provide our next generation inventors with the resources and support that are so desperately needed.”
The first Genspiration Young Inventors Awards and Genspiration Collegiate Inventors Awards will be given out at NAI’s 13th Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2024. For more information about the awards and the submission process, please visit academyofinventors.org/student-showcase/.