MIT professors Michael Cima and Fiona Murray describe the meaningful – often lifesaving – impact of invention in this Op-Ed in CommonWealth. They note a recent study from RAND Corporation, “Measuring the Value of Invention,” which describes the impacts of the 26 Lemelson-MIT Prize winners and how they reflect the evolving face of invention. The 26 winners hold 3,871 patents, are affiliated with more than 180 companies and institutions, and have published over 3,700 articles in 682 different journals, accumulating over 334,000 citations. The op-ed notes:
"If only 26 people can have such significant impact, imagine the potential impact of a system that is designed to widen inclusion in innovation and designed to harness innovation to focus on real world challenges. Extrapolating the Lemelson winners to 1,000 new inventors would mean almost 150,000 new patents in an even wider range of technologies and the creation of more than 1.5 million more jobs."
Cima and Murray suggest new policies and programs are needed bridge current disparities among those contributing to and benefitting from the new age of innovation. They emphasize science and innovation should promote greater diversity and opportunity to exponentially broaden the impact of future invention for the greater good.
Click below to read the full piece on CommonWealth.