The Lemelson Foundation
45 S.W. Ankeny St., Ste. 200
Portland, OR United States 97204-3500
Telephone: (503) 827-8910
Type of Grantmaker
- Celebrity: Other
(yr. ended 2014-12-31)
Total giving: $13,474,357
Established in 1994 in NV - Founded by the late Jerome Lemelson and his family. An engineer, inventor and holder of over 600 patents, Mr. Lemelson holds the record as the third most prolific inventor in American history, surpassed only by Thomas Edison and Carleton Ellis.
Purpose and Activities
The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:
Developing Country Program
In developing countries the foundation works to leverage inventions' ability to address the problems of the poorest populations, through the support of inventors and entrepreneurs building invention-based businesses that either: create products that address basic human needs, or enhance the ability for the target populations to create and manage income, either directly through job creation or indirectly through improving their ability to earn or manage income in their current occupation (ie agriculture, etc). Among the foundation's work in this area are programs in India, Peru and Indonesia designed to identify and encourage inventors through the stage of incubation, as well as launch activities that will help to build more robust ecosystems for invention and translation of invention through innovation to entrepreneurship, within the host countries.
The foundation has made PRIs in the form of a loan for the provision of affordable hearing aids, to an investment foundation to finance the inventory of led lights to replace kerosene lanterns and to an energy investment intermediary to disseminate solar energy systems to the rural poor in Tanzania. Historically, the foundation has made PRIs in the form of loans to organizations that aid the rural poor in Bangladesh, and African countries such as Tanzania and Rwanda through developing low-cost technologies, energy sources, and agriculture.
In the U.S., the foundation supports the invention-to-enterprise pathway with a goal of launching businesses that will strengthen the U.S. economy; although the foundation is sector-agnostic we do limit to businesses that will do no harm; and also have a strong commitment to sustainable development. Examples of U.S. initiatives founded by or supported by The Lemelson Foundation include: The Smithsonian Institute's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, The Lemelson-MIT Program and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). Additionally, the foundation is adding a regional focus to its U.S. work to build and support a pipeline of inventors in our home state of Oregon by equipping them with the skills to invent and to develop invention-based enterprises that will contribute to economic growth in the state.
Fields of Interest
- Business and industry
- Economic development
- Higher education
- Developing Countries
- Latin America
- Economically disadvantaged people
- Low-income and poor people
Year ended 2014-12-31
Assets: $369,141,545 (market value)
Total giving: $13,474,357
Qualifying distributions: $17,486,760