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Our Mission

The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance fosters invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in higher education as a way of creating innovative, commercially viable, and socially beneficial businesses and employment opportunities in the United States. The program was founded on the premise that invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship are essential components of the higher education curriculum and vital to the nation’s economic future. The NCIIA works with colleges and universities to build collaborative experiential learning programs that help nurture a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs with strong technical and business skills and the tools and intention to make the world a better place.

Social Value and Sustainability
The NCIIA places a high value on grant proposals that demonstrate concern for the earth and the health and welfare of humans. We encourage our members to find creative approaches to addressing such issues as poverty, disease, and environmental degradation through affordable design, technologies that solve critical problems and meet basic human needs (such as food, water, shelter, health, safety, and education), and pedagogical approaches that encourage awareness of and interest in these global issues. Course and program grant proposals may focus on introducing these issues to students with a design course, adding socially-focused E-Teams to an existing entrepreneurship course, or developing an entirely original program to engage students in problem-solving endeavors. Advanced E-Team grant proposals may focus on products that are affordable to people earning $1-2/day, on technologies that improve human health and the environment, or on businesses with a social vision.

The NCIIA is supported by The Lemelson Foundation, a private philanthropy established by the prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his family. The Foundation seeks to inspire, encourage and recognize inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and developing countries who are improving lives through invention.





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