Dubbed the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI), the project includes 29 representatives from industry, academia, and government.
The NCEAI will strategize how to develop a comprehensive, lifelong approach that spurs interest in innovation and inventing, and then provides for increased access to the innovation ecosystem.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
According to the Council’s website, its mission is to help the USPTO “develop a comprehensive national strategy to increase participation in our innovation ecosystem by encouraging, empowering, and supporting all future innovators. That includes increasing the involvement of women and other underrepresented groups.”
One of the benchmark sources will be:
Progress and Potential: 2020 update on U.S. women inventor-patentees: This report updates the USPTO’s 2019 report on U.S. women inventor-patentees, using three years of new data, covering 2017 through 2019. It provides new information on women’s participation in the U.S. patent system, finding, among other things, that women make up an increasing share of all new entrants to the patent system, rising from about 5% of new inventor-patentees in 1980 to 17.3% by 2019.
The federal government representatives on the Council are:
- U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
- USPTO Director Andrei Iancu
- U.S. Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza; and
- National Science Foundation Director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan,
The NCEAI was born out of a recommendation in the USPTO's 2018 Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success (SUCCESS) Act of 2018 transmitted to Congress on October 31, 2019, which found that women and minorities are underrepresented as inventors named on U.S.-granted patents. Among its major findings were:
- A review of literature and data sources found that there is a limited amount of publicly available information regarding the participation rates of women, minorities, and veterans in the patent system.
- The bulk of the existing literature focuses on women, with a very small number of studies focused on minorities, and only some qualitative historical information on U.S. veteran inventor-patentees.
- One of the most comprehensive studies focused on women inventor-patentees is "Progress and Potential: a profile of women inventors on U.S. patents," a report published by the USPTO in February 2019. It found that 12% of all inventor-patentees in 2016 were women, up from 5% in the mid-1980s.
- Overall, there is a need for additional information to determine the participation rates of women, minorities, and veterans in the patent system.
- The report concludes with a list of six new USPTO initiatives and five legislative recommendations for increasing the participation of women, minorities, and veterans as inventor-patentees and entrepreneurs.
The report encouraged the creation of a high-level council of industry, academic, and government leaders tasked with helping develop a national strategy for increased participation of underrepresented groups in innovation—as inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovation leaders.