Funding Green Innovators

By: Jill Cordes
By: Jill Cordes

Every new innovation takes years of research and testing, even when it comes to sustainability and environmental design. Thankfully, the Lemelson Foundation has donated nearly $140 million dollars to projects around the world, many aimed at reducing our carbon footprint on the world.

Jerome Lemelson, the founder of Lemelson Foundation, was a gifted American inventor himself and no doubt would be impressed with the innovative, sustainable, and energy saving ideas that his program has funded over the years.

At the university level, the foundation is helping fund some exciting projects like Notre Dame's SolarShade. It's an aftermarket window treatment that can tint a window at the push of a button and could significantly cut energy costs in residences, commercial buildings, and even recreational vehicles.

And at the Pratt Institute, students are developing GROW, a hybrid solar/wind panel designed to resemble ivy vines.

You're never too young - or too old - to be a green inventor. Check out for more innovations that might just inspire you or someone you know to invent the next big "green thing." is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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