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Olympus Announces 2008 Winners of Olympus Innovation Awards

Program Recognizes Innovative Educators from Stanford University,

University of Maryland and San Diego State University

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, a precision technology leader creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products, today announced the 2008 winners in the Olympus Innovation Award Program: Tom Byers, Ph.D. and Tina Seelig, Ph.D., Stanford University; David F. Barbe, Ph.D., University of Maryland; and Martina Musteen, Ph.D., San Diego State University. The Program recognizes individuals who have fostered and demonstrated innovative thinking in education. The winners received their awards at the 12th Annual Meeting of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), Olympus' partner in conducting the program.

"At Olympus, we understand the value and power of innovation, since it is at the core of every new technology we pioneer," stated F. Mark Gumz, president and chief operating officer of Olympus America Inc. "We are proud of the continuing success of the Innovation Awards as they recognize innovation in U.S. academia, which will foster the next generation of business leaders."

"Every year, we are amazed at how the programs and innovators that comprise the award candidates continue to get stronger," said NCIIA executive director Phil Weilerstein. "We had an excellent selection of candidates this year, and the winners had unique programs that demonstrated the tremendous impact they had on their students and universities, as well as their academic peers."

Stanford professors Tom Byers and Tina Seelig, co-founders of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), which encourages top engineering and science schools worldwide to include entrepreneurship as part of their curricula, won the Olympus Innovation Award. This award recognizes faculty who foster an environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive teaching methods and hands-on opportunities. At STVP, Byers and Seelig also develop and offer courses, conferences, internships and research activities.

Martina Musteen, assistant professor at the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University, received the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award. This award recognizes an individual who has inspired innovative thinking in students in a discrete area and who, the judges believe, has the potential to make even greater contributions to the field in the future. Musteen was also recognized for giving students the opportunity to work with international entrepreneurial companies to expand their global market opportunities.

David Barbe, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland and executive director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH), won the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award. This award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout their careers to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students in their own universities and throughout academia. Barbe has a proven record of leadership in creating one of the leading innovative technology entrepreneurship cultures at a U.S. university, through successful programs such as the university's Hinman CEOs program and its Technology Startup boot camp, both of which have become models that are replicated nationwide, as well as through the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program.

The Olympus Innovation Award Program, now in its fourth year, represents Olympus' ongoing commitment to technological innovation and education. For more information on the Innovation Award Program, as well as photos from the award ceremony, please visit, contact the NCIIA at, or visit

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;

-- Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and


-- Digital cameras and voice recorders.

Olympus serves healthcare and commercial laboratory markets 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


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.

SOURCE Olympus
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