Spotlight on Asian American and Pacific Islander Innovators
AUTM Insight, May 4
Volume 4, Issue 9
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
Congress passed its initial resolution to honor AAPI Week in 1979; in 1992 Congress designated May as AAPI Heritage month. They chose May as it commemorates the first immigration of Japanese to the U.S. (May 7, 1943.) It also marks the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad (May 10, 1869); most workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
Here are nine AAPI Innovators to know:
- Ajay Bhatt: A computer architect who invented several widely used technologies, including the USB.
- Steve Chen and Jawed Karim: After working together at PayPal, two of YouTube’s cofounders helped launch the video service in 2005. Less than two years later, they sold it to Google for $1.65 billion.
- Steven Chu: The first Chinese American to serve as U.S. Energy Secretary, as well as the first Nobel Prize winner and first scientist to be appointed to a cabinet position. Chu is the co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on atom trapping and laser cooling. He previously served as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
- David Ho: He has made several scientific contributions to the understanding and treatment of HIV infection.
- Roseli Ocampo-Friedmann: Ocampo-Friedmann researched extremophiles - organisms that thrive in extreme conditions. She gathered almost 1,000 different cultures of these from all over the world. Her work has been cited in the search for life on Mars, and in 1981 she was awarded the U.S. Congressional Antarctic Service medal.
- Nainoa Thompson: This native Hawaiian navigator was the first to practice wayfinding again, an ocean navigation technique that fell out of practice in the 14th century. He developed the star compass, allowing navigators to orient themselves by the position of the stars, and trains a new generation of navigators to pass the technique on.
- Peter Tsai: The University of Tennessee research professor created N95 respirators’ essential technology. It has become vital in protecting frontline workers against COVID-19, and the FDA, CDC, and OSHA also recommend N95 masks for medical and industrial purposes. The N95 also won AUTM's first-ever Better World Project Legacy Award.
- Ching Wan Tang: He helped pioneer the organic light emitting diode (OLED), found in flat panels such as computers and cell phones. It increases efficiency, battery life, and display quality. Tang is named on 84 patents, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2018.
Celebrating World Intellectual Property
AUTM Insight, Apr. 6
Volume 4, Issue 7
April 26 marks the day the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) came into force in 1970. It’s a day in which organizations around the globe join to increase the general public’s understanding of intellectual property (IP). This year’s theme is “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future
,” providing young people the chance to learn “how IP rights can support their goals, help transform their ideas into reality, generate income, create jobs and make a positive impact on the world around them.”
According to WIPO:
- There are around 1.8 billion people under the age of 24, 90% living in developing countries.
- With IP rights, young people have access to some of the key tools they need to advance their goals and ambitions.
- Young people are natural agents of change, with energy, creativity and innovation to build a sustainable world.
- Young people are a largely untapped source of ingenuity and creativity that can help drive the changes we need to move to a more sustainable footing.
- WIPO is working with its member states and partners to create a legal and policy environment for young inventors, creators and entrepreneurs to thrive.
for suggested virtual activities on how your organization can engage the public, media, institutions, and help raise awareness.
For more facts and figures, check out AUTM’s helpful infographic
, and toolkits
AUTM’s 2021 Licensing Activity Survey
, our most popular and widely distributed publication, is open! Check your email for details on how to contribute. Your contributions are vital to helping promote the value of IP, licensing, and tech transfer.
Celebrating and Supporting Women in Innovation
AUTM Insight, Mar. 9
Volume 4, Issue 5
What do the circular saw, ice cream maker, and Kevlar all have in common? They were invented by women! Yesterday was International Women’s Day
(IWD), and March is Women’s History Month
. Here are some highlights on inventors, inventions, and entrepreneurial ways you can celebrate:
There is more work to be done, as this year’s IWD #BreakTheBias campaign shows. In tech transfer, research shows that women at universities submit their work to TTOs at a lower rate than their male counterparts. A 2019 U.S. Patent & Trademark Office report revealed just 12.8% of U.S. inventor-patentees are women.
AUTM’s Women Inventors Special Interest Group (WISIG)
focuses on concerns of women in technology transfer offices, exploring ways of leveling the playing field and working to be a catalyst for positive change to increase the participation of women in innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship.
Its Members recently published a paper, “Engaging More Women In Academic Innovation: Findings and Recommendations
,” in Technology & Innovation, from the National Academy of Inventors. It outlines 7 key findings and 6 recommendations for concrete actions to foster greater engagement in all innovation stages, based on a survey of academic women, as well as follow-up conversations and daily experiences. Read the full report here.
Its recommendations include:
- Identify successful programs that engage female innovators in the technology commercialization pathway, create templates for the programs, and scale them;
- Identify best practices to raise awareness of commercialization resources and training programs among female academics to increase engagement;
- Establish a virtual national mentoring network or replicate and scale existing programs with strong mentorship;
- Increase outreach to help raise awareness about tools, resources, and funding designed to assist female academics;
- Help ensure higher education institutes have strategies that discourage discriminatory behavior by requiring evidence of institutional Diversity and Inclusion Plans as part of federal grant applications;
- Tech transfer offices specifically can help make technology commercialization and entrepreneurship more inclusive by: better tracking and reporting of gender metrics; gender intelligence training; more inclusive training and outreach; reviewing standard practices for invention disclosure, patenting, and licensing processes; and developing an adoptable Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
Honoring Black Inventors
AUTM Insight, Feb. 9
Volume 4, Issue 3
February is Black History Month, an opportunity to highlight the important contributions of Black Americans.
In this month’s List, we are highlighting just a few of the Black inventors who have made major impacts on medicine, transportation, technology, and more. Each person highlighted below is an inductee in the National Inventors Hall of Fame, founded and supported in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Clik the link to learn more about each person, their invention and impact: