"The answer “no” is very, very rare from anyone in the MIT community. That's one huge differentiator that people don't talk about."
The $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize recognizes individuals who translate their ideas into inventions and innovations that improve the world in which we live.
Dubbed the "Oscar for Inventors," the Lemelson-MIT Prize is awarded to outstanding mid-career inventors who have developed a patented product or process of significant value to society, which has been adopted for practical use or has a high probability of being adopted. By recognizing and funding younger mid-career inventors, the prize is designed to spur inventive careers and provide role models for future generations of inventors.
The Lemelson-MIT Prize seeks to highlight the pivotal role inventive activity plays in the achievement of positive social, cultural, and economic goals. The prize aims to:
- Recognize and reward America’s outstanding mid-career inventors.
- Encourage broad dissemination of invention(s) to achieve maximum impact.
- Celebrate individuals who enhance economic opportunity and community well-being through their inventive work.
- Foster continued inventive work that creates opportunities and overcomes challenges.
- Increase awareness of the work of inventors and the potential for commercialization and wider adoption of their inventions.
- Promote role models who can inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers.
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“Our mission, along with the mission of MIT Sloan, is to both develop leaders who make a difference in the world, and also to make a contribution to thinking about the topic of leadership.”
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“I can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
"The relationships that we forged helped us to turn out a better project. We were able to test our hypotheses with the people that we spoke with every single day. And really, I think the friendships that you develop really propel the work that you’re doing."
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“These companies are really excited to work with MIT students.They reach out to the community to set up these projects and are great to work with. They give us access to all their resources and are very open to us.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“I find the students to be very interested, engaged, and valuable in terms of what they bring to the classroom. Because of their diversity and their own work experiences, they bring a unique perspective to the class work.”