U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo to Chair Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2)

Newly-rebranded Council of industry, academic, non-profit, and government officials aims to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and acces


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Press Release

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo to Chair Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2)

WASHINGTON — In a letter to Council members this week, United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced her new role as Chair of the re-branded Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2). With representatives from industry, academia, non-profit, and government, CI2 will assist the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in developing a comprehensive national strategy to build a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem.

“Together, as a Council, it is imperative that we continue working to expand American innovation by tapping into the strength of our nation’s diversity and increasing opportunities for all innovators and entrepreneurs who are creating new technologies, companies, and industries,” wrote Secretary Raimondo. “With the most recent data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicating that only 12.8% of inventors listed on patents granted in a single year are women, and little to no data on the participation of other underrepresented groups, we can all agree that there is much work to be done to build a stronger and more inclusive innovation sector.” Read the full letter.

“We are excited to welcome Secretary Raimondo as the new Chair of our Council for Inclusive Innovation, or CI2,” said Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (IP) and Director of the USPTO. “This Council and the nation as a whole will benefit from her extensive leadership and understanding of how to expand opportunities for all aspiring innovators. America is strengthened by its diversity, and that is especially true for the intellectual property sector that fuels our nation’s economy. Under Secretary Raimondo’s leadership, we look forward to expanding our innovation ecosystem, guided by the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, to reach more individuals from every corner of America, and all walks of life.”​

In the letter, the Secretary also noted her participation in a virtual event with global non-profit AnitaB.org at 1:15 p.m. ET Wednesday, October 27 to discuss her new role as Chair of CI2Watch the event.

CIand its forerunner the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI) were born out of a recommendation in the USPTO’s 2018 SUCCESS Act study and report​ delivered to Congress in December 2019. The study assessed the participation of women, veterans, and other underrepresented groups as inventors named on U.S. granted patents. The report provided recommendations to increase the participation and development of these groups as inventors and entrepreneurs.

For additional information on the Council, including a list of Council members, see the USPTO’s CI2 webpage at www.uspto.gov/ExpandingAmericanInnovation.

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