The Lemelson-MIT program has become a national leader in efforts to prepare the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs. Our work focuses on the expansion of opportunities for young people to learn ways inventors find and solve problems that matter. We are devoted to bringing invention education opportunities to all students, while prioritizing work with young women and Black, indigenous populations, Latinx and other people of color. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion aims to remedy historic inequities among those who develop inventions, protect their intellectual property and commercialize their creations.
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.
Leadership and Staff
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 Foundation funds the program, and the program is administered by the School of Engineering at MIT. We also benefit from donations by supporters and funding from organizations who contribute for services rendered.
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 $7,500 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.