Promoting Patent Diversity

Mar 17, 2021 1:05 PM ET

As featured in Qualcomm's 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

We believe that bringing talent and diversity together is the key to unleashing creativity, innovation and breakthrough technologies. As part of our efforts to grow the innovation economy, we’re creating a pipeline of diverse inventors and patent holders.

In 2020, we proudly supported the VentureWell E-Team grant program. VentureWell is a higher education network that helps cultivate the skills and creativity of university students who are passionate about solving the world’s biggest challenges and creating lasting impact. The E-Team program supports multidisciplinary studentled teams who are aiming to bring their innovations out of the lab and into the market to create social, health or environmental impact.

We also participated in some exciting activities to highlight the gender gap within intellectual property (IP) development and ownership, including:

  • Amplified the successes of women-led E-Teams through cross-promotional activities around National Inventors Day and World IP Day.
  • Featured Senior Vice President Susie Armstrong on VentureWell’s funder panel, Charting the Future: Philanthropic Trends in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The panel was a virtual OPEN 2020 conference highlight with more 100 attendees, making it the second most attended session after OPEN Minds, the E-Team virtual pitch competition.
  • Engaged Qualcomm staff to participate in “Office Hour with Experts” during E-Team workshops, to help student entrepreneur teams improve work products critical to venture development.

We look forward to building on our successful partnership with VentureWell and sponsoring the E-Team grant program in 2021.

Patents are critical to Qualcomm’s success and to the U.S. economy, but not everyone shares equally in the opportunity to patent. Women, people of color, and lower-income individuals patent inventions at significantly lower rates than their male, white, and wealthier counterparts. Invent Together is a new coalition, led by Qualcomm, committed to breaking down barriers and helping to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to invent and patent. Together with the Association of American Universities,, Association for Women in Science, Collaboratory for Women Innovators, Future Forward, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Lemelson-MIT, Project Invent, The Ohio State University, VentureWell, and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation we’re helping close wage and wealth gaps and supporting the development of new and different inventions.

To learn more about Qualcomm’s 2025 goals and ESG performance in 2020, access the full report here.