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Olympus Launches 2011 National Innovation Awards Program
Date:9/16/2010

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, a precision technology leader designing and delivering innovative solutions in its core business areas of Medical and Surgical Products, Life Science Imaging Systems, Industrial Measurement and Imaging Instruments and Cameras and Audio Products, has announced the call for nominations for the seventh 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.

"Winning the 2010 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award was a very humbling experience and a privileged opportunity to highlight the tremendous hard work of students and fellow faculty members.  Recognition from the Award will help open new doors for collaboration and expand current educational activities to strengthen existing global health innovation partnerships," said Dr. Jeffrey Blander, course co-director HST939, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard Medical School and MIT, and 2010 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award winner.

Olympus and NCIIA are currently soliciting nominations for the 2011 awards program. 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 October 13, 2010. To submit a nominee for the Olympus Innovation Awards Program, 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 15th Annual Conference in the Washington, D.C. area on March 25, 2011.

"Olympus continues to recognize the value and importance of rewarding faculty  in U.S. academia for their steadfast leadership in educating future leaders about innovation and sustainability as core prerequisites for an enterprise to succeed," stated F. Mark Gumz, president and chief executive officer of Olympus Corporation of the Americas. "Our partnership with NCIIA has strengthened over the past seven Award seasons and the level of talent that continues to apply for and win the Innovation Awards is unparalleled."

Winners in the 2010 program included Olympus Innovation Award winner, Paul Hudnut, entrepreneurship instructor at Colorado State University's College of Business; Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award winner, Jerry Engel, adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley; and Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award winner, Dr. Jeffrey Blander, course co-director HST939, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard Medical School and MIT.

"We are pleased to again be partnering with Olympus to recognize the most innovative faculty practitioners in higher education. Now in our seventh year offering the Olympus Innovation Awards Program, we never cease to be amazed by the accomplishments of our winners, and by their desire to share their knowledge and skills with faculty and students across the country," said Phil Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA, based in Hadley, Mass.

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.

Judges for all three awards will include last year's Olympus Innovation Award winner Paul Hudnut, entrepreneurship instructor at Colorado State University's College of Business; Deborah Streeter, senior professor of personal enterprise, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University and 2007 Olympus Innovation Award winner; Phil Weilerstein, executive director, NCIIA; Abigail Barrow, director, Massachusetts Technology Center and NCIIA board member, Arthur Boni, director, Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business, as well as an Olympus executive.

About Olympus

Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in its core business areas: Medical and Surgical Products, Life Science Imaging Systems, Industrial Measurement and Imaging Instruments and Cameras and Audio Products.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and 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 research, clinical and educational microscopes and research and educational digital imaging systems;
  • Industrial research, engineering, test, inspection and measuring instruments; and
  • 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.

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


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