Did You Know Uncle Sam is Looking for Innovators?

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently announced a new National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation to connect more Americans with resources to spur innovation and entrepreneurship, and to bring in underrepresented groups into the economic mix, according to a media release.

“In conjunction with the agency’s work with the Council for Inclusive Innovation, the strategy aims to grow the economy, create quality jobs, and address global challenges by increasing participation in STEM, inventorship and innovation among youth and those from historically underrepresented and under resourced communities,” the release states.

According to the Commerce Department release, while more women are entering and staying active in the patent system, only 12.8% of all inventors named on U.S. patents are women. At the same time, a Harvard University study revealed that white Americans are three times more likely to invent than Black Americans, and that children born to parents in the top 1% of income earners are 10 times more likely to become inventors than those from families with below-median income.

“Opportunities for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship should be accessible to everyone, especially those who have historically lacked access to our most valuable support systems and resources,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in the release. “USPTO’s National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation outlines a pathway to success for inventors from all backgrounds. This is a reminder that America’s diversity is our greatest strength, but only if everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential. By empowering innovators and entrepreneurs from all communities, we can help ensure America’s global competitiveness for decades to come.”

The strategy is built upon four cornerstones, including addressing K-12 educational disparities and the need to inspire youth of all backgrounds to become innovators; focusing on post-secondary educational disparities for students and faculty; promoting inclusiveness in organizations; and increasing commercialization opportunities for innovations.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce