The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) today announced a Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in a mutual effort to broaden diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the invention and innovation ecosystems.
With this five-year agreement, both parties are seeking to expand access of NAI and USPTO resources to historically under-served communities, which include minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.
"The Joint Project Agreement is vital to our mission of expanding access to the innovation ecosystem," said Drew Hirshfeld, currently performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "The NAI community of academic inventors and institutions offers a unique network dedicated to innovation and IP education and we look forward to partnering with them to broaden access and inclusion."
The agreement targets two key programs within the NAI suite of online tools: its mentoring platform, Global Academic Inventors Network (GAIN) and IP certification course. The agreement will allow NAI to add more features to both resources.
"We are honored to deepen our existing partnership with the USPTO, as the JPA goal ties directly in with our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion," said Paul R. Sanberg, FNAI and NAI President.
An additional key component of the JPA includes a market analysis to evaluate the language used in the education modules and mentoring platform to ensure it is inclusive and will be effective at reaching under-resourced audiences.
The USPTO and NAI have shared a close relationship since the founding of NAI in 2010. They have collaborated previously including the USPTO's contributions to NAI's Technology & Innovation journal as well as USPTO leadership's participation in the NAI Fellow and Senior Member induction ceremonies. The next NAI Annual Meeting will be held on June 14-15, in Phoenix, Arizona.