University Engagement Series, led by USPTO Director Iancu, highlights need for IP protection and entrepreneurship

Current innovation can be found anywhere, from a person’s garage to a laboratory. But much of the future of innovation is in classrooms—especially in universities.

In October 2020, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu launched an extensive University Outreach Engagement Series with events at the University of Iowa and the National Academy of Inventors. The program focuses on American innovation, the importance of intellectual property, and efforts to expand our innovation ecosystem demographically, geographically, and economically.

By engaging directly with university faculty, students and innovators beyond the campus community, Director Iancu has highlighted the vital role universities play in shaping and supporting future innovators. As of this writing, he had spoken to 25 U.S. universities.

“The creation of new technologies, new products, new companies, and new industries is vital to the American economy,” Director Iancu told the Iowa audience. “And at this moment in time, given the challenges we face as a country and as a world, it is absolutely essential that we increase the number of people engaged in innovation across all demographics and all geographies.”

Reaction to Director Iancu’s appearance was swift and effusive— especially his detailed knowledge of Iowa’s university initiative, STEM Innovator.

Leslie Flynn, professor of STEM innovation and entrepreneurship at the university, said she received 54 communications saying, “great event.”