The Lemelson Foundation in Portland, Oregon, has announced grants totaling $4 million to organizations working to advance social innovation in both the United States and the developing world.
Spring 2011 grants recipients include Ashoka, which was awarded a three-year, $900,000 grant to support two programs that address the needs of inventors; East Meets West, which will receive a three-year, $1.5 million grant to support a partnership with Design that Matters to develop new neonatal health technologies; Root Capital, which was awarded a $600,000 grant and a $500,000 program-related investment to support grassroots businesses in rural areas in developing countries; and Selco, which will receive $650,000 over five-years to provide solar-technology solutions to the poor in India.
The foundation also will provide support for the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, which works to connect innovators to resources and promote entrepreneurship in the developing world, and to Rosemary Anderson High School, a Portland, Oregon, school for at-risk youth.
"The Lemelson Foundation not only supports organizations that leverage technology and innovation to solve problems around the world, we invest in partners that foster and promote invention and entrepreneurship," said Lemelson Foundation interim executive director Denis Prager. "We know funding an individual invention can only go so far: developing an ecosystem around innovation will ensure a breakthrough idea has lasting impact and can truly change lives."