2011 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index Uncovers: Inventive Perception among Young Americans

Article excerpt

Invention and innovation are essential to remaining globally competitive, and a new survey shows an untapped group of potential inventors in the U.S.

The annual Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, which gauges Americans' perceptions about invention and innovation, this year surveyed young men and women ages 16-25. Almost three in four young women (71 percent) indicate they are creative, the characteristic they most associate with inventors (63 percent); however, less than one in three (27 percent) describe themselves as inventive. Men also follow this trend; 66 percent say they are creative, but only 39 percent describe themselves as inventive ...

The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index also reveals that young women and men do not see the U.S. as leading the way in invention; 61 percent of young women view Japan as the leader, with the U.S. ranking second at 27 percent. Young men agree, choosing Japan first (54 percent) and the U.S. second (36 percent) ...

The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index results indicate that young people have the skills necessary to invent, and also reveal that nearly half (49 percent) of young women are most interested in pursuing invention to improve the lives of others. …