FIRST LEGO League Kid Invention to Receive Product Development Opportunity Valued at up to $250,000

FIRST® LEGO® League Kid Invention to Receive Product Development Opportunity Valued at up to $250,000

Second year “FLL Global Innovation Award” garners new sponsor support


MANCHESTER, N.H., December 21, 2011—One of 20,000 FIRST ® LEGO® League (FLL®) teams around the world tackling food safety issues will win an investment prize of up to $250,000 for their solution, as winner of the 2012 FLL Global Innovation Award. The award’s new “Go-To-Market Sponsor,” Edison Nation, has offered to bring the winning idea through the same product development process showcased in their Emmy® award-winning PBS television show Everyday Edisons.

"Through our EdisonNation.com platform, we're able to work with all kinds of independent inventors to help make their ideas a reality," said CEO of Edison Nation, Louis Foreman. "Our Edison Nation team is excited to work with these young FLL inventors and to leverage our industry capabilities to get their innovations to market.”

Now in its second consecutive year, the FLL Global Innovation Award encourages, celebrates, and supports youth innovation by offering 200,000 FIRST LEGO League participants the chance to compete and win support for their research projects. At the end of the FIRST LEGO League competition season, teams will be invited to submit their research ideas between January 19 and March 1, 2012, to the FLL Global Innovation Award website. A judging panel of industry leaders will review the submissions. The public can also review and vote on the submissions at http://fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org/. One winning team and two runner-up winners will be named at the FLL Global Innovation Award ceremony on June 19 at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Va.

“It is innovation that changes the way we live and makes life better and more exciting,” said Founder of FIRST Dean Kamen, adding, “The FLL Global Innovation Award celebrates and encourages innovation by asking kids to think about improving their own future.”

FIRST LEGO League is one of four programs offered by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit that inspires an appreciation of science and technology in young people. FIRST issues an annual challenge to FLL teams on a real-world scientific topic comprised of three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. This season’s theme is food safety.

Three additional program Partners, Booz Allen Hamilton, John Deere, and Mastercard have also agreed to sponsor the award this year. Tying into the FOOD FACTOR® theme, representatives from the National Center for Food Protection and Defense are expected to attend the ceremony, as well as celebrity chef and inventor Homaro Cantu. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos, inventor Dean Kamen, Louis Foreman, representatives from LEGO, and FIRST President Jon Dudas are among other notable guests expected to attend and honor the winning and runner-up teams

Edison Nation® is an idea-to-shelf consumer product developer behind such products as Eggies®, Gyro Bowl®, Emery Cat® and Mister Steamy®. Edison Nation operates an invention-centric multi-platform organization, including Everyday Edisons, an Emmy® Award-winning series on public television now in production for Season 4 and Inventors Digest, a top trade publication dedicated to the study of business and innovation. Edison Nation utilizes a $25 Million Innovation Fund and corporate relationships with the country’s top retailers, manufacturers and ASOTV companies to bring independent inventor-driven ideas to market. Products can be found in all major mass retailers across the country. Edison Nation was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. For more information, please visit www.edisonnation.com.

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) is an international program for 9 to 16 year-old children (9 to 14 in US/CAN/MEX) created in a partnership between FIRST and The LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable employment and life skills. Using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technologies and LEGO Education materials, children work alongside adult Coaches to design, build, and program autonomous robots and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their research project. After eight intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments. Like any other organized “sport,” teams also fundraise, create a team identity, and participate in field trips.

About FIRST  

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $15 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST®  LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST®  LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

Media Contacts:

Shana Benzinane, FIRST
Ph. 603-206-2482
sbenzinane@usfirst.org