Announcing: $10,500 in Funding Allocated to Support 14 Campaigns at First-Ever Invent for Humanity Event

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The Center for Applied Innovation Announces $10,500 in Funding Allocated Toward 14 Campaigns During the Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair

March 2, 2012 (Chicago, IL) – The Center for Applied Innovation, a Chicago based 501(C)3 non-profit organization, announced today that $10,500 in funding was allocated during the first-ever Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair event in Geneva, Switzerland on January 23-25, 2012.

Invent for Humanity is a community, a marketplace and an event focused on harnessing technology for social good. Hosted by the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) Global Technology Impact Forum, the first Invent for Humanity event supported enterprise-creation campaigns all across the globe.

This effort resulted in the presentation of fourteen campaigns during the event, which were developed in partnership with Kopernik, Solar Sister, Q Drum, California State University, Los Angeles, and Global Research and Innovation Technology (GRIT).

Ewa Wojkowska from Kopernik and Yvonne Chua discuss clean cookstoves

Ewa Wojkowska from Kopernik and Yvonne Chua discuss clean cookstoves

The “marketplace” aspect of the event enabled the campaigns to receive funding from the Invent for Humanity fund onsite through the allocation of microfinance credits (MFCs) by event attendees.

Each of the 150+ attendees was given MFCs that they could distribute during the two-day event. Attendees interacted with campaign representatives to learn more about the respective details of each campaign, in order to better inform themselves as to where their MFCs would have the most impact.

The Q Drum in action

The Q Drum in action

Once all of the MFCs in circulation were allocated, the Center for Applied Innovation was able to calculate the total amount of real money each MFC was worth, allowing them to assign a monetary value to each credit slip and determine the dollar amount that each campaign had received.

“MFCs allow financial contribution and subject matter expert participation in the market process,” said James E. Malackowski, LESI President. “As the market matures, it is expected that MFC allocation will extend 360 degrees to include needs organizations, ensuring that their unique insight regarding what is mostly likely to succeed will be reflected in overall funding allocations.”

The Center for Applied Innovation is pleased to announce the following funding results of the first-ever Invent for Humanity Technology Transfer Exchange Fair:

  1. $1,961.45 to the Solar Sister Girl Empowerment Program, which provides school-aged girls in Uganda with science, technology, engineering, business and math education.
  2. $1,259.04 to Kopernik’s Take a Load Off campaign, which will provide 90 women and their families in the Matungu district of Kenya (over 500 individuals) with the ability to transport water using Q Drums.
  3. $755.42 to Kopernik’s Make Some Noise for Children in Vietnam campaign, which benefits more than 300 children who suffer from hearing loss by employing solar-powered hearing aid technology combined with the support of teacher training.
  4. $609.64 to GRIT’s Manufacturing Mobility in Romania campaign, which seeks to deploy the Leveraged Freedom Chair technology in Transylvania.
  5. $198.80 to the Kopernik When a Child is Born campaign, which provides midwives in Timor-Leste with labor and delivery equipment in the form of Maternova Obstetrics kits
  6. $159.04 to the Kopernik What’s Cookin’ campaign, which enables Indonesia women to sell biomass stoves on consignment.
  7. $145.78 to Kopernik’s Check-Out a Light campaign, which benefits rural Peruvian children with no income by enabling them to check out solar lanterns from their school libraries, allowing them to study at night.
  8. $132.53 to Kopernik’s Drinks Are On Me campaign, that works with an existing network of women’s groups across Indonesia – PEKKA – in order to provide 250 women with training and water filters to sell on consignment.
  9. $119.28 to the Kopernik Give Safe Drinking Water to Rural Nigerians campaign, which, utilizing the Tulip Water Filter, provides more than 500 people with safe, clean water.
  10. $79.52 to the Kopernik Smarter Cooking for Indian Women campaign, which impacts 150 tribal households of Bairagarh and Shankarpura, India by allowing them to harness efficient biomass stoves.
  11. $53.01 to the Kopernik What Knowing Can Do campaign, which allows for expansion of computer resources and training in the Rachuonyo district of Kenya.
  12. $26.51 to Kopernik’s Bring Clean, Bright Light to Atauro campaign, which enables fishermen in Timor-Leste to purchase sustainable solar lanterns for night fishing, rendering the disposal of used batteries and flashlights unnecessary.

Solar Sister founder, Katherine Lucey, demonstrates Nokero technology

In addition to the twelve campaigns receiving a total of $5,500 in funding above, the Solar Sister Business in a Bag campaign was fully funded onsite in the amount of $5,000 by Ocean Tomo, one of the 2012 event sponsors.

This campaign has the ability to impact more than 20,000 Ugandan people with access to clean energy technology through establishing ten female entrepreneurs. These “sisters” will receive a complete “business in a bag”, enabling them to create sustainable business ventures in their local communities by selling solar lights, lanterns and mobile phone chargers.

“It was so exciting to be part of the first Invent for Humanity Technology Fair. It was a lively approach to exchanging information about new technologies that benefit humanity and an interactive way to build support for the innovations,” said Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO of Solar Sister. “The Microfinance Credits will provide immediate and lasting impact in the lives of women and girls by supporting Solar Sister’s solar technology enterprise programs.”

Water Prototype

LES member, Paul Germeraad, kicks the proverbial wheels of this water transportation prototype developed by Thomas Hurst from Cal State LA

The fourteenth campaign featured at Invent for Humanity – the Q Drum Manufacturing Campaign – is an ongoing project still in early development stages, and will be eligible for funding at future events.

View more images from Invent for Humanity at

About the Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair

Organized by the Center for Applied Innovation, the Invent for Humanity Technology Transfer Exchange Fair will take place in tandem with the LESI Global Technology Impact Forum 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 24-25, 2012. Invent for Humanity showcases field-ready sustainable innovations – Appropriate Technologies – and leverages the experience of professionals in IP and licensing in order to effectively match and structure the transfer of such technology to meet the needs of organizations working to benefit developing economies. The two day Invent for Humanity Technology Transfer Exchange Fair event is open to the media and the public.

About the Center for Applied Innovation (CAI)

The Center for Applied Innovation is an Illinois non-profit corporation created to manage education, public policy outreach and related economic activity around Applied Technology and intellectual property (IP) rights in the State of Illinois and around the world. Applied Technology is defined as proven IP or technology that is in use or was developed for a specific purpose and protected by patents and/or patent applications (as well as other forms of intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrights). CAI will examine the current environment and identify opportunities for IP to be utilized both in the State of Illinois and across the world to stimulate economic growth. The Center will create a critical mass of available resources and focus on redeploying existing IP, but will also encourage continued technology development.

Media Contact:
Kristi Stathis

Patents for Humanity – New USPTO Humanitarian Initiative

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On Wednesday I watched as David Kappos announced the USPTO’s new humanitarian initiative – Patents for Humanity.

“Innovation is 99% about failure, which is expensive,” Kappos said. He’s completely right.

It is difficult to disseminate knowledge due to the high costs associated with the current patent system. The barriers of entry – both time and monetary – mean that many innovations go unprotected. It requires significant investments, in our current system, to protect technologies.

To mitigate this issue, Kappos calls for an improved flow of innovation to those in need using the patent system and the USPTO’s Patents for Humanity pilot program. The new program incentivizes patent holders to engage in humanitarian issues.

Under Patents for Humanity, inventors who do the most to apply their technologies to pressing global challenges, such as access to mobile technology and medicines, will be rewarded with a voucher that can be redeemed to accelerate a patent application, an appeal, or an ex parte reexamination proceeding before the USPTO.

As a Center for Applied Innovation Fellow, I helped coordinate two related events last January – the LESI Global Technology Impact Forum (GTIF), and the Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair.

These events were developed to address and promote IP licensing and technology transfer for the betterment of mankind – an issue many organizations are becoming more aware of on a daily basis.

Edward Elliott, Expert Advisor, Office of Policy and External Affairs for the USPTO, attended these events and presented an early look at the Patents for Humanity program at GTIF. Edward’s presentation was given as part of a panel session focusing on the diffusion of technology to developing nations.

Along with Patents for Humanity, initiatives and tools for furthering tech transfer for development were presented by Global Access in Action, the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Intellectual Property Organization, General Electric, the World Health Organization, and Qualcomm.

Clearly this challenge is both important and timely.

In addition to Patents for Humanity, other initiatives were featured:

  • New model licensing agreements from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Energy
  • Training lawyers on how to include humanitarian use in technology contracts by Global Access in Action

It is important to realize that, when it comes to sustainable global development, innovation is the easy part.

Reaching scale and diffusing technologies, through infrastructure, distribution, awareness, training and affordability, is the difficult part.

Solar Sister Girl Empowerment Program

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You may already know that CAI is working with Solar Sister to fund 2 campaigns.

Solar Sister is a social enterprise that provides women with training and support to create solar micro-enterprise businesses, providing much needed household income for women, and much needed light for their respective communities.

The first campaign – which will provide Solar Sister’s business in a bag to 10 female entrepreneurs – was funded by Ocean Tomo.

The second campaign was developed by Solar Sister to empower girls by providing them with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through deliberate strategies to connect learning to real-life experiences. Incorporating technology, including solar powered products from d.light, Barefoot Energy and Nokero, Solar Sister teaches business skills and provides expanded access to clean energy technologies that enhance educational performance.

Working closely with a Solar Sister mentor, the girls learn about solar technology, environmental and health benefits of clean energy technologies, and have the opportunity to participate in enterprise activities, directly earning income for school improvement projects.

Solar Sister leverages several solar powered appropriate technologies through its Girl Empowerment Program, several of which were exhibited during the first-ever Invent for Humanity Event.

Through the Invent for Humanity campaign, Solar Sister will educate and empower 100 girls in Uganda, where a growing number of households are headed by widowed women, and the face of poverty is predominately female.

A World Bank report, Gender and Economic Growth in Uganda, concludes that while women comprise 80% of all unpaid workers, laboring on family farms or other informal work scenarios, research suggest that Ugandan women are highly entrepreneurial.

“We provide girls and women with education, training, inventory and marketing support, creating sustainable businesses and empowering women with economic opportunity,” said Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO of Solar Sister.

Donate to fund the Solar Sister Girl Empowerment Campaign

2012 Invent for Humanity Speakers

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Learn more about our 2012 speakers

Aya Caldwell, Program Manager, Center for Global Health

Hector Chagoya, Vice-President, LES Mexico

Thomas Hurst, Graduate Student, California State University, Los Angeles

Alison Kuhlmann, Marketing Manager, Q Drum

Samuel E. Landsberger, Sc.D., Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Kinesiology, California State University, Los Angeles

Alan Lewis, Immediate Past President, LES International

Katherine Lucey, Founder & CEO, Solar Sister

Rick Mammone, Ph.D., CEO, ClearView Diagnostics Inc.; Associate Vice President of New Ventures Professor, Engineering and Business, Rutgers University

Breean E. Miller, Center for Applied Innovation Fellow, Invent for Humanity

Neha Misra, Chief Collaboration Officer, Solar Sister

James Moody, Executive Director of Development, CSIRO

Ferdinand M. Negre, Bengzon Negre Untalan; President, LES Philippines

Diane Powell, Co-Creator LAUNCH

Kathryn Samuels, Chief of Strategic Partnerships, Powered by Action

Tish Scolnik, Global Research and Innovation Technology (GRIT)

Kristi Stathis, Secretary, Center for Applied Innovation

Tyler Valiquette, Founder & COO, Catapult Design

Ewa Wojkowska, Co-founder & COO, Kopernik

2012 Invent for Humanity Event Agenda

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Arrival Day | January 23, 2012

18:00-20:00 Opening Cocktail Reception

Invent for Humanity 2012 First Day | January 24, 2012

7:30-8:30 Opening Breakfast

8:30-8:45 Welcome Remarks from LESI President James E. Malackowski

8:45-9:30 Global IP Policy Outlook

9:30-10:45 Global IP Business Outlook

10:45-11:15 Networking Break

11:15-12:00 Introduction to the Invent for Humanity Model

12:00-12:45 Partnerships to Raise a Village

12:45-13:45 Lunch with LESI Global Technology Impact Forum Participants

13:45-16:45 Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Marketplace Open

16:45-17:15 Networking Break

17:15-18:15 Entering a New Era – Invent for Humanity Ecosystem Partners Presentation

18:45 Transport Departure for Dinner Venue

19:00-20:00 Cocktail Reception

20:00-22:00 Climate Science Impact Dinner

Invent for Humanity Second Day | January 25, 2012

7:15-8:15 Opening Breakfast

8:15-8:30 Invent For Humanity Program Remarks from Kristi Stathis, Secretary, Center for Applied Innovation

8:30-9:15 Converting Research into Appropriate Innovations for the Developing World

9:15-10:00 Design at the Crossroads: Technology and Social Impact

10:00-10:30 Networking Break

10:30-11:15 Sustainable Enterprise Development

11:15-12:30 Invent for Humanity Campaign Presentations

12:30-12:45 Concluding Remarks from Kristi Stathis, Secretary, Center for Applied Innovation

13:00-14:00 Lunch with LESI Global Technology Impact Forum Participants

14:00-17:00 Board-to-Board Power Networking Sessions

It’s not too late to catch the worm! Early bird registration for the Invent for Humanity Technology Exchange Fair has been extended until December 15th

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Attendees of the Invent for Humanity Technology Transfer Fair will have a first-hand opportunity to network relevant needs organizations, technology providers working towards similar goals, and licensing professionals that can help smooth the way for IP issues. If your organization is struggling with deployment of technology, finding partners, or having international legal issues, this is a great opportunity to find an expert that can help.

Your registration fee includes the following:

Remember that as a participant in Invent for Humanity, you have exclusive access to the Invent for Humanity online community. This platform is strictly confidential and can only be accessed by our participants. Feel free to share ideas that are still in the works and problems/concerns with your fellow Invent for Humanity Community members. We want this community to be a sounding board for new ideas and a resource of advice from other organizations going through the same issues.

We hope to see you in Geneva! Register here $1495 ($500 Early Bird Discount) extended until December 15

Show Support for World AIDS Day

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World AIDS Day

Since 1988, December 1st has been the day that the world takes the opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS by showing support for those living with HIV, and remembering those who have died.

Globally, there are an estimated 33.3 million people living with HIV. Since the first cases were reported in 1981, 25 million people have died due to HIV/AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

In the United States, Every 9.5 minutes, someone is infected with HIV. That is very hard to imagine, but according to a recent study, one in five (21%) people infected with HIV are unaware of their infection.

Prevention is a crucial step to reducing the fight against HIV. Preventing HIV can mean practicing safer sex, safer drug use (although it’s illegal), HIV testing to prevent transfer during pregnancy, and safety while working in healthcare facilities.

You can show your support of those living with HIV/AIDS on World Aids Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness.

This virus knows no boundaries and I encourage everyone to get tested. Visit the HIV/AIDS Prevention & Service Provider Locator to find a testing facility near you. To learn more about HIV/AIDS visit AIDS.GOV

Terminology Tuesday – Technology Transfer

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As we get closer to the big event in January, we realize that some of our partners and friends may not be familiar with some of the terminology used in discussing Invent for Humanity and Intellectual Property issues.

Introducing Terminology Tuesday – helping our followers to gain deeper insight into the goals of Invent for Humanity.

You lost me again. I know what technology is, and I know what “transfer” means, but what do they mean together?

Technology Transfer – The process of skill transferring, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services. It is closely related to (and may arguably be considered a subset of) knowledge transfer.

So technology is transferred from the technology provider to the needs organization. What role does Invent for Humanity play in this process ?

Invent for Humanity is the point of connection between the technology provder and the needs organization. Invent for Humanity makes sure that the needs and solutions these groups provide are visible to the policymakers who have the power to address issues that are currently halting the efficient transfer of technology. Invent for Humanity is ensuring that more technologies that are made to help people in developing countries actually get to be deployed to the people that need them.

Terminology Tuesday- Needs Organizations & Technology Providers

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As we get closer to the big event in January, we realize that some of our partners and friends may not be familiar with some of the terminology used in discussing Invent for Humanity and Intellectual Property issues.

Introducing Terminology Tuesday – helping our followers to gain deeper insight into the goals of Invent for Humanity.

Needs organizations and technology providers….that sounds straightforward enough.

And it is! Technology providers are the ones that are using innovation to make their Appropriate Technologies (remember those?).

Needs organizations are those that will be deploying these creations out to the people who need them. The following is a list of Invent for Humanity’s participating needs organizations and technology providers. 


Needs organizations:

Childreach International USA – A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving children’s access to health, education, and safety,  and restoring child rights throughout the developing world.

Concern Worldwide – An organization that works with the poorest people in the poorest countries of the world to enable them to transform their lives. 

Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss– Helping Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in Developing Countries Reach Their Full Potential.

Liya Kedebe Foundation –  The Liya Kedebe Foundation is dedicated to saving the lives of mothers and their children through the use of proven, simple, and low-cost strategies.

Solar Sister– A social enterprise providing women with the training and support necessary to create solar micro-businesses.

Yaya Education Trust – A non-profit organization that identifies, initiates, and supports projects that directly address the root causes of extreme poverty, illiteracy, and poor health among rural communities in the Matungu District.

Technology Providers:

d.light – An international consumer products company serving people without access to reliable electricity.

Embrace Portable Infant Warmer– A social enterprise that aims to empower the disadvantaged to improve their lives through disruptive technologies. The Embrace Cocoon is the first in this line of innovative products.

FilterPure  – A simple, effective, and sustainable ceramic water filter that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Maternova Obstetric Kit – Focuses on preventing postpartum hemorrhage, the leading cause of death during childbirth.
Q-drum – The rollable water container for developing countries.

Solar Ear –Solar Ear manufactures solar powered hearing aids by young adults who are deaf for hearing impaired in developing countries.

UB-03 Biomass Stove– Compared to traditional three-brick/stone stoves, the biomass UB.03-1 stove can save fuels up to 80%, while producing almost no smoke during operation.

Uber Shelter –Uber Shelter is designing rapid deployment shelters that function as a platform for expansion into permanent housing in post-disaster situations.

Water Tulip – Basic Water Needs focuses on developing and manufacturing affordable safe drinking water solutions for the poor.

LAUNCH: Energy Forum November 10-13, 2011

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Elvir Causevic, Managing Director of Ocean Tomo’s Strategy Practice, will visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to participate in the LAUNCH Energy Forum on November 10-13.

Last year LAUNCH executed two challenges which focused on water and health but this week the focus issue is energy. The LAUNCH program is a global initiative to identify and support innovators that work to contribute to a sustainable future and to finding solutions to the challenges of our society.

“Access to sustainable sources of energy is one of the 21st century’s greatest challenges, and this group of innovators stands a real chance of making a significant impact in meeting that challenge,” said Dr. Alex Dehgan, Science and Technology Adviser to the Administrator at USAID.

This week’s Energy Forum will bring together innovators and council members to discuss innovations that can change the way the world handles critical sustainability issues.

During the three day Forum, innovators will discuss their proposed solutions to energy issues with LAUNCH Council members, who represent the business, investment, international development, policy, engineering, science, communications and sustainability sectors.

Elvir Causevic will represent Ocean Tomo and Invent for Humanity during the Forum. We are looking forward to working with NASA and the LAUNCH program to continue the search for sustainable, appropriate innovations.

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