The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) announced the launch of the Global Innovation Initiative (GII), a program designed to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educators and students in solving the problems of global poverty in environmentally and economically sustainable ways. Focusing especially on STEM Education, the NCIIA and its partners seek to identify and train the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs in countries where these opportunities are not widely available.
NCIIA made the announcement at yesterday’s Clinton Global Initiative Summit in New York City.
Armed with fifteen years of experience working with U.S.-based student entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize products and technology that address needs in global health, clean water, sustainable energy and consumer technology, the NCIIA will build a network of more than 100 universities around the world to train and equip the next generation of STEM students to stimulate the development and distribution of innovative scalable products and businesses. The Global Innovation Initiative will impact universities in countries in Africa, Asia, Central North and South America.
NCIIA’s $9.5 million commitment was announced this morning during CGI’s Enhancing Access to Modern Technology Plenary.
“The excitement around this program demonstrates that there is an increasing embrace of science and technology as the driver of opportunity to create market-based solutions that help address critical global challenges,” said Phil Weilerstein, Executive Director of the NCIIA. “There is a growing appreciation that creating the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs is the key to solving these problems.”
Launched with a $1 million cornerstone commitment by The Lemelson Foundation, a Portland, OR-based philanthropy that supports inventors, invention and innovation at every stage, an additional $8.5 million will be raised through partnerships, grants and additional fundraising over the next two years.