Home Introduction Explore the Innovators What in the World Then and Now

Introduction

The Spirit of American Innovation:
Innovation and commercialization for a global society



  The Medal

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Some Medal laureates are household names-others you never heard of. Some are engineers; others never went to college. Some grew up playing with electronics and making things explode. Others learned in the library, not in school.

From sound recording to computers, from satellites to new vaccines—innovation touches everyone. Through their vision, creativity, and determination, all of them have had a major impact on American lives. Explore this site to find out who they are and how their achievements have affected your life.

Innovation fosters health, wealth, and well-being
Innovation enhances your daily life, adds to the world's store of knowledge, and increases the nation's wealth. As innovation leads to cheaper, better ways to meet human needs, it spreads across the globe and improves the well-being of the world's citizens.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation rewards American innovation
Every year the President recognizes American Innovators with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The Medal rewards and supports the American spirit of innovation, which the department believes is the heart of the country's economic strength.

Exhibit overview
The United States Department of Commerce has partnered with The Tech to develop a National Medal of Technology and Innovation exhibit celebrating the American spirit of creativity, commitment to innovation, and technological achievement. The Tech provides a lively, thought-provoking environment to introduce the general public to the Medal of Technology and contributions of our nation's laureates.

The exhibit includes four major areas:
Perspectives
An engaging display of the innovations and personal stories of Medal laureates prompts visitors to consider what it takes to become an innovator and what kinds of environments stimulate innovation.

Web-based multimedia stations
This display provides access to the Medal winners for museum visitors and Web users throughout the world by way of in-depth biographies, personal stories, and firsthand accounts of the sometimes difficult path to innovation. Visitors can click on 3 different immersive panoramas: home, office, and hospital, to discover the profound change innovation has brought to the world. Visitors can then try to match some Medal winners to their childhood pictures and stories.

Tech Challenge Showcase
This area showcases the ingenious entries in our annual student competition, The Tech Challenge.

Steven P. Jobs and Stephen Wozniak receiving the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

Steven P. Jobs and Stephen Wozniak receiving the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

 
 
 
 
William H. Joyce receiving the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1993.

William H. Joyce receiving the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1993.

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