There are many ways in which innovation contributes to society. This occurs not only through the development of new products that directly improve quality of life, but also through indirect mechanisms including the advancement of national security, the reduction of environmental waste, the increased productivity of existing operations, and the stimulation of economic activity.
The purpose of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation is to recognize individuals and teams whose work has made a significant and lasting impression. It is the highest honor awarded to American innovators by President of the United States.
By calling attention to the ways in which innovation contributes, the award also serves to inspire others to pursue their own efforts.
The program is managed by the USPTO on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce.
Each nomination is evaluated for achievement in three areas:
- quality of life and society
- environmental well-being
- economic well being
The nomination may be made in any these categories:
- individual or team nominations for technology products, processes, and concepts
- organization or division nominations for technology and technological innovation
- nominations for the promotion of technological manpower
Self-nominations are not accepted, but guidelines, including definitions of the judging criteria and nomination forms, can be found at the USPTO website for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.