Invention Factory™ is an intensive summer program in inventing that originated in the U.S. and will run for the first time in India this summer, at IIT Gandhinagar (IITGN). In six weeks (plus one week of technical training), ten teams of two IIT students will conceive of ten inventions, prototype them, “pitch” them, write and file a U.S. patent application for them, and compete for prizes for “Best Invention.” You and your partner will work on an invention that you choose, subject only to the approval of the professors as well as safety and budgetary constraints.
If you are chosen for this program (acceptance is competitive!), you will spend a total of seven weeks at IITGN. The program will begin on June 11, 2018, with a mandatory one-week orientation to learn (or for some of you, review) basic prototyping skills -- 3D printing, laser cutting, use of simple tools. The Invention Factory program proper runs during the six weeks from June 18, 2018 to July 27, 2018. The founders of Invention Factory, Cooper Union Professors Alan Wolf and Eric Lima, will be working directly with IIT students for the first four weeks of the program, alongside IIT Professors Vineet Vashista and Nithin George. Professors Vashista and George will remain with the students for the last two weeks of the program after Profs. Wolf and Lima return to the U.S.
The 20 students in Invention Factory will be selected from all IITs (with at least six students selected from the host institution – IITGN). Lodging with shared hostel room facilities and all meals will be provided for the entire seven-week period. Each team will have a budget of up to Rs. 50,000 for materials. You will have access to laser cutters, 3D printers, machine shops and machinists. Your presence will be required each day at IITGN, Monday through Friday, 10AM to 5pm – but this is the bare minimum. We expect that many of you will work late into the night, especially towards the end of the program. Breakfast, tiffin and dinner will be at IITGN’s mess hall, but box lunch will be served at the Invention Factory work site. Unlimited chai and coffee will be provided.
By the end of the program, each of the ten teams will have filed a provisional patent application for their invention with both the Indian and the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Professors Wolf and Lima will teach the rudiments of patent law and patent searches, as well as overseeing the crafting and filing of provisional patent applications. As part of the program, each team will also craft a short video, demonstrating and explaining their invention. These videos will posted on the Invention Factory main website, and elsewhere. Students will find these videos invaluable for securing internships and employment.
You will compete for a first prize of Rs. 2 lakhs and a second prize of Rs. 1 lakh for “Best Invention” and “Second Best Invention.” These prizes will be shared by the two members of these two teams. Judging will be based upon several factors, including: how well your invention meets a need, your prototype, your “pitch” to the Judges and your provisional patent application.
All participants who successfully complete the program will receive a Rs. 10,000 stipend with a certificate of participation.
Click HERE to see the Cooper Union Invention Factory site.