The Lemelson-MIT Program promotes invention and the early stages of entrepreneurship across the United States through its prize program for collegiate inventors and its invention education initiatives. Our mission is to inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention, and to support their development as inventors and creative problem solvers through invention education opportunities. Invention education is an emerging and transdisciplinary approach to education with meaningful outcomes for students of all backgrounds, educators and communities. We are leading research efforts in this new field of study with a goal of forging collaborations and invention education pathways from kindergarten through college to ensure all youth have opportunities to learn to think and work as inventors.
One of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. The family continues to support this vision through The Lemelson Foundation and grant funding administered by MIT's School of Engineering.
Jerome H. Lemelson (1923-1997), and his wife, Dorothy, established the Lemelson-MIT Program to recognize and reward outstanding inventors in the hope of encouraging more young people to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology, and entrepreneurship. Our work continues to be supported by the family through The Lemelson Foundation.
The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding collegiate inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.
The Lemelson-MIT Program is dedicated to promoting the process of invention. We do not purchase patents or licenses, nor do we invest in inventions. For more information about intellectual property, visit the free course offered by the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property.
We do not fund the development of inventions. We also cannot provide inventors with contacts such as MIT engineers or area mentors. The following MIT-affiliated groups may be able to guide you:
MIT Innovation Initiative
TechX group, a student-run organization
For more information on raising capital and developing your invention, visit our Handbook for Inventors
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Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams is an initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program that awards annual grants of up to $10,000 each to teams of high-school students, teachers and mentors to invent technological solutions to real world problems. JV InvenTeams curriculum are available for middle school students and educators to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math through fun, hands-on invention-based design activities. Young inventors ages 6-12 can enter the ideas4ears invention competition, or get involved with an invention convention in their local area. MIT also has many K-12 outreach programs available to the public.