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The Inventor's Mentor


Getting Technical Help

        You have a great idea but you don’t have the technical know how to move forward and you need the help of savvy professionals to guide you. What do you do? Several private companies, government organizations and university resources are available for you to draw on:

You can get inexpensive help from engineering students by funding their research projects. Make sure you have well written specifications for what needs to be done. These specifications will become a statement of work for the students.
UCSD provides inventors with a well defined mechanism for submitting proposals. UCLA accepts industry sponsored research.  UC Berkeley provides a Web site to allow the public to search its faculty according to the desired field of expertise.

Private Invention Developers           
        Private companies can also help you with your invention.  The best way to get a referral to a competent invention development company is to attend a local inventor’s group.

National Laboratories                       
If your invention is hi-tech you can get help from national laboratories established by the US government. They house world class facilities and employ more than 30,000 scientists and engineers performing cutting edge research in a wide range of scientific disciplines. Some of these laboratories include:

The Ames Laboratory  is a national center for the synthesis, analysis, and engineering of rare-earth metals and their compounds.  Ames conducts fundamental research in the physical, chemical, and mathematical sciences associated with energy generation and storage.     

The Argonne National Laboratory is one of the Department of Energy's largest multidisciplinary research centers. Argonne research falls into five broad categories: basic research, scientific facilities, energy resources programs, environmental management and National security.               

The Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security and builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers.          

The Idaho National Laboratory is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's missions in environment, energy, science and national defense.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducts unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines with key efforts in fundamental studies of the universe; quantitative biology; nanoscience; new energy systems and environmental solutions; and the use of integrated computing as a tool for discovery.               

The National Energy Technology Laboratory assures that U.S. fossil energy resources can meet increasing demand for affordable energy without compromising the quality of life for future generations of Americans.       

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, advances related science and engineering, and transfers knowledge and innovations to address the nation's energy and environmental goals.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducts basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation's leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.    

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory    delivers science-based solutions to the Department of Energy's major challenges of expanding energy, ensuring national security, and advancing mission-driven science through outstanding staff and R&D capabilities, excellent operations, and high-value partnerships.       

Sandia National Laboratories develop science-based technologies that support national security through science and technology, people, infrastructure, and partnerships.      

The Savannah River National Laboratory is recognized as a world-class center of excellence for the development and application of innovative science and technology solutions.

        The Department of Energy website was an excellent resource for the information in this newsletter and will provide you with information about other national laboratories.

        For archived newsletters and information resources for the small inventor go to:  

f you have any question you can contact me at (858)259-2226 or email me at

This newsletter should not be construed as any form of legal advice.          ©2012 by George Levy