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Student inventors: Apply for the Lemelson $30K

The Lemelson-MIT Program invites MIT student inventors to apply for its annual $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventiveness. All currently enrolled MIT seniors and graduate students are eligible to apply for the student prize, regardless of major or area of study. The application deadline is 4 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2007.

Past Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners have garnered national media coverage from outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, USA Weekend and Newsweek, which has served as valuable exposure to the investment community. Said 2006 winner Carl Dietrich, "I have put the money from the prize toward the development of my company, Terrafugia. The prize allowed Terrafugia to show our concept for a roadable aircraft at AirVenture Oshkosh--the biggest aviation celebration in the world. Because of our participation there, we now have a good number of place-holder deposits for our product, the Transition, and I am now in a much better position to raise the next round of money that Terrafugia will need to move forward." Andrew Heafitz, 2002 winner, gained a contract with the U.S. Air Force after he was featured on TV as a result of winning the student prize.

Interested students need to complete an online application that includes the following: a 1,000-word, or less, description of their inventiveness while at MIT, two letters of recommendation and a current resume or CV. Supporting photos or diagrams may also be included. Students must register as new users before accessing the application ( Questions can be directed to Lemelson-MIT Program Officer Ingrid Dudek at 617-253-3490 or

The winner will be announced at a press conference the morning of Feb. 14, 2007.

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. The program was established in 1994 at MIT, by one of the world's most prolific inventors, Jerome Lemelson (1923-1997), and his wife, Dorothy. It is funded by the Lemelson Foundation and administered by MIT's School of Engineering. More information is online at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 18, 2006 (download PDF).

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