Our Programs


The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises. Why? Because we believe that invention is critical to building a stronger US economy, and creating social and economic change for the poor in developing countries.

Within the geographies where we work, the US and developing countries, we have a common path to impact. We work with partners in establishing and supporting programs that inspire youth to become inventors, stimulate and provide invention and entrepreneurship education, and support the launch, earliest incubation and mentoring of invention-based enterprises. Read about Our Approach.

We work within the US through programs and partnerships that showcase the power of invention and invention-based businesses to improve the economy. We inspire youth to solve problems through invention, provide young inventors with the knowledge and tools to invent, and help college students with the launch of invention-based enterprises and their earliest incubation.
In developing countries, local inventors and locally developed inventions can provide critical solutions for the needs of the poor, improving access to health care and clean energy, addressing food security, or mitigating the ongoing threat posed by climate change, to name a few. Yet severe resource constraints in these environments mean that inventors often lack access to the tools, funding and market pathways necessary for them to advance their ideas and realize their vision for impact. The Foundation supports local inventors and entrepreneurs in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America to create quality and affordable technologies that can address the needs of underserved populations at scale.