This Fall the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) has selected its first Student Ambassador team, a group of exceptional students at 14 universities that are charged with encouraging and leading the creation of socially beneficial technologies and bringing them to commercialization. No easy feat, but the NCIIA will give them plenty of support.
Supported by grants and foundation funds, the NCIIA has given each of its Student Ambassadors a budget to engage students at their universities to become involved in inventing and developing technologies that are socially beneficial and to create entrepreneurships to facilitate commercialization. These activities include the establishment of student groups and projects, organizing group events, speakers, projects, and business and community involvement. The Student Ambassadors receive a personal payment of $4,000 for the year from NCIIA, in addition to their operational budgets.
This first year's Ambassadors came from geographically diverse universities (e.g., Princeton, Northwestern, Wake Forest, Portland State, etc.), some of which already have active entrepreneurial programs for their students and others that do not. There is a student application process which is quite rigorous, plus student applicants must be able to attend a mandatory training program.
NCIIA was established in 1995 with support from the Lemelson Foundation, led by the Lemelson family in honor of one of the most prolific inventors in history, Jerome Lemelson. Since 1995, the Lemelson Foundation, as well as the Meyer Memorial Trust, Olympus Corporation, and the National Science Foundation continue to support the NCIIA in its fostering of student innovation and entrepreneurship.
The NCIIA 2011 Student Ambassador application process will being in Summer 2011; however, you may want to investigate the application requirements here and bookmark the page for future reference. And check out the other student competitions sponsored by NCIIA on its website.