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The National Congress of Inventor Organizations
The National Congress of Inventor Organizations (NCIO) is the oldest nonprofit umbrella organization in the U.S. dedicated to encouraging the spirit of innovation and creativity. NCIO offers education, training and support to inventor organizations with the mission of creating standards of ethics and professionalism within the invention community and growing the invention industry. Information and assistance is available to those with interest in forming a nonprofit inventor organization or collegiate inventors program.
The genesis of NCIO began as a collaborative joint effort between the federal government and the private sector in response to the national crisis in the early 70's. When the world's oil producing nations boycotted the U.S., sending the price of petroleum sky high, the country's need for rapid development and implementation of new energy technologies was recognized and acted upon by several federal government agencies.
The need to nurture and develop new inventor talent and the need for ongoing cooperation and communication between existing inventor organizations on a national level led to the incubation and development of NCIO over a period of nine years. NCIO was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 1982 with government support for the first two years, after which it became a self-supporting independent organization. Over the past sixteen years, NCIO has pursued its original mandate as a cooperative, educational entity representing the largest organization of creative minds in America.
Maintaining an advisory program for inventors, encouraging new inventor organizations, and developing and disseminating resource information are just a few aspects of NCIO's comprehensive approach to enhancing the inventing environment created under the leadership of NCIO co-founder Norman Parrish who served as President from 1982 to 1992. Parrish also founded the National Innovation Workshops (NIWs) with the first conference held in Hawaii in 1978 which were later organized by the Department of Energy, Inventions and Innovation Program as a cooperative effort of federal and regional programs. He was the chief engineer in the "Monkey in Space" program, and served as consultant/engineer to such companies as Lockheed Aircraft Co., Southern California Edison Co., Northrop Aircraft, and Hughes Aerospace Corp. He is a retired staff scientist and instructor at the University of California at Berkeley and other campuses, and is an adjunct professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. In 1992 he was awarded the World Intellectual Property Organization's gold medal for his "achievements as an inventor and for his significant contribution to the promotion of the industrial property system."
Cordell Lundahl, NCIO's President from 1993 to 1996, who also served as Vice President for several years prior, expanded NCIO's scope by participating in the White House Conference on Small Business where it campaigned for improved patent law protection. In addition, NCIO was selected as the exclusive U.S. representative of the International Federation of Inventors Associations (IFIA). Cordell Lundahl, President and CEO of Erza C. Lundahl Inc., holds over 165 patents and applications and worked with John Deere & Company in Moline, Illinois which resulted in the development of new concepts in hay and grain equipment, and ultra sonic measuring devices which are marketed throughout the world. He was the recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration's 1992 Entrepreneurial Success Award, the Economic Justice Award, and the 1994 Bronze BulbieŠ Award.
Stephen Paul Gnass, NCIO's current President, envisions expanding upon the foundation that has been created and bridging geographical and cultural boundaries to encourage and offer support to intellectual property creators on an international scale. He has "reinvented" the organization with the purpose of providing free education and information to neophyte inventors utilizing NCIO's web site which offers high quality free advice, how-to direction, legislative news, resources and an online e-zine America's InventorŠ Online.
Gnass, an entrepreneur and inventors advocate who was an independent consultant for inventors and small businesses known as the "small business doctor", founded the internationally-renowned INVENTION CONVENTION® trade show in 1987. He has since been working to improve the general image of inventors whom he believes are the pillars of our free enterprise system. Gnass is recognized as an authority and spokesperson of the invention industry, and considers himself the unofficial inventors ambassador. He has been recognized by several organizations for his outstanding contributions in the field of technology transfer, including the 1993 Bronze BulbieŠ which in a surprise reversal was presented to him by prominent peers Paul MacCready, Stan Mason, George Margolin and other judges. He has appeared on numerous TV, radio and newspapers including CNN, CNBC, Rolanda Talk Show, Financial News Network, Stephanie Edwards, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Business Opportunities Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal, Ross Shafer Show.
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