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Experts Concerned About Future of Invention

Washington confab releases report on maintaining an inventive society, awards US $500,000 prize to LED inventor

4 min read

12 May 2004--Before optoelectronics godfather Nick Holonyak Jr. was awarded a US $500 000 prize for inventiveness, a crowd of leading academics, business people, and decision makers gathered on 23 April at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., to examine the future of the United States as an inventive society, and they found reasons for concern.

The focus of the event was the presentation of a report, "Invention: Enhancing Inventiveness for Quality of Life, Competitiveness and Sustainability," which was cosponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Lemelson-MIT Program. The report concluded that while invention is the basic source of the economic well-being and quality of life enjoyed in the developed world today, society cannot take that premise for granted and must actively promote better conditions to encourage inventiveness and creativity.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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