Image description: Fishermen trained by FDA scientists are performing sophisticated lab tests on clams while far out to sea — a novel approach that has allowed the reopening of thousands of miles of ocean to clamming off the coast of New England. Learn more about this program.
Photo from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
If you are looking for financial funding for your invention, start by contacting any companies or organizations in your area that might share an interest in your idea or invention. You may be able to get guidance and resources for researching your idea or private funding for developing or marketing your invention.
The government does not provide direct funding for inventions. However, you may be able to find government-sponsored programs that offer help through the following resources:
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) can help you learn how to start a business, how to market and manufacture your invention, and provide you with referrals to financial resources.
- The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) website provides information that may help you find business opportunities from federal government agencies, state government agencies, and government-sponsored events.
The Inventors Assistance Center (IAC), part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), provides patent information and services to the public. The IAC can:
- Answer general questions about patent examining policy.
- Direct your call to appropriate USPTO personnel.
- Help you with filling out forms.
- Give you general information about rules, procedures, and fees.
- Send you patenting information.
Contact the IAC by phone at 1-800-PTO-9199 (1-800-786-9199) or 1-571-272-1000. TTY users may dial 1-571-272-9950. Or, visit the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, Virginia.
Get Local Help with Patents
Find a local Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC). PTRCs are a nationwide network of public, state, and academic libraries where you can get help from a trained librarian. These librarians can:
- Help you determine if someone else has already patented your invention or obtained a federal registration for a trademark on goods or services.
- Answer specific questions about the patent and trademark processes, but they will not provide legal advice.
Learn more about PTRCs or learn about the materials and services PTRCs provide.
For more information, contact the PTRC Main Office at 1-571-272-5750.
Need more help?
Check out the U.S. Patent and Trade Office’s resources for inventors.
As fall becomes winter, not only do the warm coats and scarves come out, but common illnesses such as colds and the flu join us too. While you can’t always avoid getting the flu, there is plenty you can do now to help you and your family prevent the pesky sickness. We rounded up these helpful resources for you from the government so you don’t have to go digging for reliable information to keep your family healthy:
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers tips on the differences between a cold and flu, how you can prevent both, what to do if you’re already sick, and advice on over the counter medicines. You can get it all online or even order a hard copy publication sent to your house.
- It’s easy to follow the top link when you do an online search, but remember that not all sources are trusted ones. Flu.gov is the official government website where you can enter your zip code to find out where you can get a flu shot, get advice for who is most at risk, and learn how you can help care for loved ones who get the flu.
- Like your information on the go? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an app for you. With the “CDC Influenza” app, you can find national flu activity information, as well as vaccine recommendations and videos on how to protect your family.
- Even though it’s been a few years since the H1N1 pandemic flu was national news, it is another strand of the flu to always be mindful of. The 2013-2014 flu shots cover this strain of the flu, plus others. Learn more about this year’s flu season and shots from the CDC.
Smoking affects nearly every organ in your body from your brain all the way to down to the smallest parts of your DNA. Learn how each of your body’s systems are impacted by smoking.
Image description: This “Moon Ahead” sign is posted outside launch Pad-OA at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility. You can see the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with its Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard, in the background.
Photo by Bill Ingalls, NASA.