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USF selected to host hundreds of young inventors from across the state in annual competition

The University of South Florida today was named the official Florida state affiliate for Invention Convention Worldwide (ICW), a competition from The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation geared toward young inventors. The program will give students statewide the opportunity to showcase their inventive projects, compete for awards and potentially advance to the national competition. This will mark the first time the event has taken place in Florida. 

USF joins an extensive network of distinguished ICW affiliates across the nation in their commitment to foster innovation and creativity and support the next generation of inventors. This invention competition will be run in partnership with USF Research & Innovation and the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, which is housed at USF.  

“As the Invention Convention Worldwide state affiliate for Florida, the University of South Florida is looking forward to the opportunity of empowering students across Florida to become active participants in shaping the future. The Invention Convention at USF provides future inventors with real-world experience of taking an idea from concept to commercialization while equipping them with the skills required for growth and success in a rapidly evolving world,” said Prasant Mohapatra, USF provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. 

ICW is an internationally recognized program that encourages students from kindergarten to 12th grade to develop and showcase their inventive skills. By providing a platform for young inventors to explore, create and innovate, ICW has inspired thousands of young minds to tackle real-world challenges through ingenuity and problem-solving.

 “The Henry Ford is thrilled to welcome the University of South Florida as the Invention Convention Florida state affiliate,” said Patricia Mooradian, The Henry Ford president and CEO. “We have a shared purpose to inspire the next generation of innovators and inventors. Invention Convention is changing the lives of our students, and we look forward to working with USF to expand this program and inspire young people across the state to shape a better future.”    

This ICW partnership provides USF the opportunity to further expand its imprint in the broader innovation space and create a cycle of innovation to help K-12 students learn to become innovators, then leaders who encourage and support.

“The Henry Ford Museum’s Invention Convention Worldwide possesses the vision, resources and commitment necessary to foster young inventors across the nation,” said Sylvia Wilson Thomas, interim vice president for USF Research & Innovation. “This vision aligns perfectly with our invention and innovation education efforts to empower our next generation to become future leaders, change-makers, problem-solvers and industry-disruptors.” 

The first competition is set to take place at USF in spring 2025. The top-placing students will advance to the national competition at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  

More information about Invention Convention Worldwide can be found here


About University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, a high-impact research university dedicated to student success and committed to community engagement, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. With campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF serves approximately 50,000 students who represent nearly 150 different countries. U.S. News & World Report has ranked USF as one of the nation’s top 50 public universities for five consecutive years, and this year USF earned its highest ranking ever among all universities public or private. In 2023, USF became the first public university in Florida in nearly 40 years to be invited to join the Association of American Universities, a prestigious group of the leading universities in the United States and Canada. Through hundreds of millions of dollars in research activity each year and as one of the top universities in the world for securing new patents, USF is a leader in solving global problems and improving lives. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at

About the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame
The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (FIHF) recognizes and commends Florida inventors whose achievements have advanced the quality of life for Floridians, the state and the nation. Founded in 2013 and housed in the USF Research Park in Tampa, FIHF was recognized by the Florida Senate Resolution 1756 in April of 2014. FIHF encourages individuals of all ages and backgrounds to strive toward the betterment of Florida and society through continuous, groundbreaking innovation, and, by commending the incredible scientific work being accomplished in the state, to further the growth of Florida’s innovation sector. Learn more at:

About The Henry Ford
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at, its national television series The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation and Invention Convention Worldwide, the growing affiliation of organizations fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in K-12 students, The Henry Ford inspires individuals to unlock their potential and help shape a better future. Learn more at:

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