The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will host an innovation festival Sept. 26 and 27 as a signature event of the collaboration between the Smithsonian and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Thirteen companies, universities, government agencies and independent inventors, selected by a juried panel, will participate in the festival, which will explore how today’s inventors are creating the world of the future. ASU will be participating with NASA.
The museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation is leading the effort to present educational programs from across the Smithsonian. Highlights will include innovation and invention programs, hands-on activities, expert talks and demonstrations and opportunities for visitors to meet and exchange ideas with inventors and innovators while exploring their own creative abilities.
“The Smithsonian may be known for documenting the intricacies of our nation’s history but, it looks at innovation as a way of continuing to tell the story of America,” said John Gray, director of the museum. “The innovation festival gives visitors the opportunity to discover inventions and meet the people who design and create such innovations.”
“From the fields of Kitty Hawk to the orchards of the Silicon Valley, our nation has been driven by ingenuity and fueled by innovation,” said Michelle K. Lee, the undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO. “The Innovation Festival provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn how America’s intellectual-property system has driven innovation and shaped our nation.”
Organized by The Smithsonian Associates, the Innovation Festival highlights inventors and invention and provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the patent and intellectual property systems and how they support invention and innovation. The festival will run Sept. 26 and 27, between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will feature examples of American ingenuity developed by independent inventors, academic institutions, corporations and government agencies.
NASA will demonstrate the Freeze Resistant Hydration System, which was invented to assure liquid hydration by storing a reservoir of drinking fluid within down clothing and having a closed-loop heating element. The device was originally conceived and designed by a astronaut-mountaineer Scott Parazynski, now ASU Professor of Practice, who recognized the great risk of dehydration in high mountains and the lack of sufficient technology to meet this important need.
Festival participants were selected by experts in patented technology from the Intellectual Property Owners Organization, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the National Academy of Inventors and the independent inventor community.
The festival will also feature innovative activities that reflect the missions of several Smithsonian museums, research centers and partners including the Smithsonian Latino Center and Lemelson MIT Invent Teams.
The five-year collaboration between the Smithsonian and USPTO, which began in 2014, develops programs and exhibitions showcasing American innovation. These joint efforts include the recently opened “Inventing in America” in the new Innovation Wing of the National Museum of American History. Three large cases focus on inventions and innovators of the past and present, featuring early patent models, trademarks and inventions of National Inventors Hall of Fame members.
The National Museum of American History is located on Constitution Avenue N.W. between 12th and 14th streets. Admission is free. For more information about the Innovation Festival visit http://americanhistory.si.edu.