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Independent inventors, hidden in plain sight

At lunch a few days ago, I was sitting next to a retired engineer from the U.S. Department of Energy. When I told him about our work at the Lemelson Center, his eyes lit up. “You know,” he said to me, “my son is an inventor. He started his own high-tech business about five years ago.” This sort of thing happens to me all the time. Or, just as often, people tell me about inventing outside their day job, confessing it to be their true passion. I’ve been getting these reactions since the Lemelson Center began some fifteen years ago and it has become evident to me that independent inventors are everywhere, often hidden in plain sight. In this era of corporate, academic, and government dominance

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