The Lemelson Foundation is committed to working with partners to share our learnings to promote invention in the U.S. and developing countries.

The resources below are intended to provide insights and tools to spur invention that has positive social, environmental and economic impact.

Invention Education

This site produced by The Lemelson Foundation and partners provides resources for educators, administrators and other stakeholders about Invention Education in the U.S.

Who Becomes an Inventor in America?

This comprehensive 2017 analysis shows that exposure to innovation during childhood has a significant causal effect on a child’s propensity to become an inventor.


Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Clean Energy

This 2021 report from Endeavor Insight analyzes the challenges and opportunities for invention-based enterprises and service companies in clean energy in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Healthcare

This 2021 report from Endeavor Insight assesses the challenges and opportunities for invention-based enterprises and service companies in healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Agriculture

This 2021 report from Endeavor Insight examines innovative companies in agriculture in Africa to understand how they can maximize their impact in support of the SDGs.

Impact Financing for Hardware Startups Impact Financing for Hardware Startups

This 2018 resource guide is for investors interested in working with Indian product-based entrepreneurs to deliver impact at scale, and provides a case study of The Lemelson Foundation’s use of Masala bonds for Program-Related Investments.

Hardware Pioneers

In this 2016 report, FSG investigates obstacles to bringing innovative technologies, such as solar lanterns or low-cost medical devices, to under-resourced communities in developing countries.

What’s Working in Startup Acceleration: Insights from Fifteen Village Capital Programs

This 2016 report studies the effectiveness of accelerator programs for entrepreneurs in emerging markets working in sectors such as agriculture, energy, education, financial inclusion and health.

Global Accelerator Learning Initiative

The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) uncovers best practices around global business accelerator programs.

Catalyzing Capital for Invention: Spotlight on India

This 2015 field study examines India’s ecosystem to enable social enterprise, and provides action steps for building support systems in other countries.

Impact Inventing: Strengthening the Ecosystem Impact Inventing: Strengthening the Ecosystem for Invention-based Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets

This 2014 report from the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) details what resources are available for invention-based businesses, what ecosystem level gaps remain and what tangible actions can be taken to fill those gaps.

Environmental Responsibility

The Engineering for One Planet Framework

This draft curricular framework for the Engineering for One Planet (EOP) initiative from the Foundation and VentureWell will help accelerate integration of environmental and sustainability principles in engineering education.

Teaching Environmentally Responsible Inventing – Higher Education Environmental Landscape Research & Analysis Phase I

This qualitative study identifies best practices in teaching Environmental Responsibility to inventors and innovators in higher education.

Inventing Green: A Toolkit for Sustainable Design

This toolkit prepared by VentureWell helps early-stage inventors understand how the lifecycle of their products will affect the environment.

I2E Inventing Green Tool

NESsT provides an online tool that simplifies the process of assessing and tracking environmental impact for companies in the U.S. and developing countries that have started early production and sales and are validating or preparing to scale.

Business Sustainability Booster (BSB)

Presidio Graduate School’s Business Sustainability Booster (BSB), an extension to the well-known “Business Model Canvas” (BMC), guides leaders of startups and existing enterprises through a set of questions to make their business models more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

Impact Inventing: Going Green

This 2016 report from the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) explores the areas where invention-based entrepreneurs who promote environmental responsibility require ecosystem-level support in order to succeed.

Sustainable Development

50 Breakthroughs The 50 most critical scientific & technological breakthroughs required for sustainable global development

This 2014 study from the Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab highlights the critical scientific and technological advances needed for sustainable development.