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Olympus Launches 2010 National Innovation Awards Program


CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 23, 2009 - Olympus, a precision technology leader creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products, has announced the call for nominations for the sixth annual Olympus Innovation Awards Program. The national program, executed in partnership with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), recognizes individuals who have fostered or demonstrated innovative thinking in education. 

The Olympus Innovation Awards Program represents Olympus’ ongoing commitment to technological innovation and education. The Program includes three awards, the Olympus Innovation Award, the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award and the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award.

“The Olympus Innovation Award has proved to be a milestone in the development of the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship, giving validation and national exposure to the center and our flagship Entrepreneurship Academies,” said Andrew Hargadon, associate professor, Graduate School of Management, University of California–Davis and 2009 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award winner. “We were deeply honored to receive the award, and are grateful for the connections it has enabled us to make.” 

Olympus and NCIIA are currently soliciting nominations for the 2010 awards. Students, faculty and others at NCIIA institutions of higher learning in the U.S. can review qualification guidelines by logging on to www.nciia.org/login until November 20, 2009. To submit a nominee for the Olympus Innovation Awards, please click here http://nciia.org/competitions/olympus. The annual awards are given to faculty nominees chosen from among the nearly 200 member institutions of NCIIA, a national network of colleges and universities fostering invention, innovation and entrepreneurship in U.S. higher education. Olympus will present the next awards at NCIIA’s 14th Annual Conference in San Francisco on March 26, 2010.

“Olympus recognizes the importance of rewarding individuals, especially during today’s challenging economic climate, and is proud to support and encourage innovative thinking in students,” stated F. Mark Gumz, president and chief executive officer of Olympus Corporation of the Americas. “We are pleased to continue our support of NCIIA and their members in U.S. academia in their ongoing commitment to technological innovation and education.”
 
Winners in 2009 included Olympus Innovation Award winner, Michael Camp, Ph.D., academic director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business and Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award co-winners, Gifford Pinchot III, president emeritus, and Jill Bamburg, dean emeritus, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, in addition to Hargadon of UC Davis. 

“In creating Cornell eClips, a library of digital video, the Olympus Innovation Award has been a wonderful impetus to take risks and think out of the box as an educator,” said Deborah Streeter, professor of personal enterprise in Cornell University’s Department of Applied Economics and Management and 2007 winner of the Olympus Innovation Award. “It is extremely encouraging to have the recognition and resources needed to push the boundaries and reach learners with new and innovative approaches.”

Award Categories
The Olympus Innovation Award recognizes a faculty member who fosters an environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive teaching methods and hands-on educational opportunities. The winner will receive a $10,000 prize.

The Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout his or her career to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students at their own universities and throughout academia. The winner will receive a $2,500 prize.

The Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award recognizes an individual who has inspired innovative thinking in students in a discrete area and whom the judges believe has the potential to make even greater contributions to the field in the future. The winner will receive a $1,000 prize.

“For the past six years, the Olympus Innovation Awards Program has recognized the outstanding contributions of faculty whose work exemplifies excellence and innovation in higher education,” said Phil Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA, based in Hadley, Massachusetts. “We strongly encourage faculty and academic leaders to nominate colleagues for the 2010 Olympus Innovation Awards.”

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products. Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its affiliates worldwide to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Digital cameras and voice recorders.
Olympus serves the healthcare field with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.

About NCIIA
The NCIIA was established in 1995 with support from The Lemelson Foundation. Its mission is to foster invention, innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education – components of the higher education curriculum that are vital to the nation’s economic future. The NCIIA accomplishes its goals by supporting curricula and programs that encourage the development and the work of E-Teams – multidisciplinary teams of students, faculty and industry mentors working together to take an idea for a technological innovation and bring it through prototype development to commercialization. The “E” stands for excellence and entrepreneurship.

Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Sullivan, Olympus, (484) 896-5005, elizabeth.sullivan@olympus.com
Dave Orsman, NCIIA, (413) 587-2172, dorsman@nciia.org
Meredith Klein, GolinHarris, (212) 373-6022, mklein@golinharris.com

Note to editors: More background on the Olympus Innovation Awards Program is available at www.olympuspresspass.com.