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Olympus Announces 2005 National Award Program to Recognize Innovation In Education

Announcement at Live Discussion on Future of American Innovation, Celebrating Sir Harold Evans’s New Book and Olympus-sponsored PBS Series “They Made America”

Melville, NY, October 8, 2004 - Olympus, a precision technology leader in designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide, has announced The Olympus Innovation Award for educators and those they teach in communities across the United States. The Award was introduced by F. Mark Gumz, president and chief operating officer of Olympus America Inc., in his key note address introducing a discussion on innovation with a distinguished panel of business leaders and innovators, held yesterday evening at the Broadhurst Theater in New York City.

The Olympus Innovation Award will recognize individuals who have fostered or demonstrated innovative thinking in education. An academic partner will be announced in due course. Renowned historian and editor, Sir Harold Evans, who moderated the panel session and is the author of a new book on the history of American innovation, will be a judge in the award program.

“As an innovative company in healthcare and consumer electronics, Olympus believes it is important to recognize and reward innovative thinking,” stated Gumz. “We are very pleased that Harry Evans will be involved in our program to help evaluate and identify America’s next wave of innovators.”

The Olympus panel session brought together Ted Turner, founder of CNN, the world’s first 24 hour news network and a director of Time Warner Inc; Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president & chief executive officer of FedEx Corporation; internationally recognized designer Oscar de la Renta; critically acclaimed, award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese; and Gumz.

The event also launched Olympus’ corporate sponsorship of the public television series “They Made America,” based on Evans’ new epic work “They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators,” published by Little, Brown & Company this month. The four-part PBS series produced by WGBH explores and dramatizes the lives of unique men and women whose contributions to American enterprise — electrification, the computer, the credit report, jet travel, popular banking — have had global impact. Parts one and two on “Rebels” and “Revolutionaries” will air on Monday, November 8, 2004, followed by “Newcomers” on November 15, 2004 and “Gamblers” on November 22, 2004.

“America is at a crossroads,” said Gumz. “In his book, Harry Evans identifies 10 lessons we can learn from our innovators to date. I believe that if we take a close look at these lessons and the changes they imply for our society, America will be able to maintain its edge in innovation. Olympus is committed to helping make these kinds of changes in our society to continue to foster innovation in America.”

“I am tremendously gratified to partner with Olympus on the subject of innovation,” said Sir Harold. “Olympus is a company that lives on innovation. There you can see first-hand how rubber meets the road. ”

Olympus’ PBS sponsorship and the innovation award program represent the company’s ongoing commitment to technological innovation.

Over the last 85 years, Olympus has remained true to its pioneering heritage, developing many “industry first” technologies in healthcare and consumer electronics - breakthroughs that have revolutionized product design and functionality, including:

  • The launch of the first microscope in Japan (1920). Today, Olympus microscopes are found in leading research laboratories, clinical centers, and educational institutions worldwide.
  • The world’s first gastrocamera (1950). The precursor to today’s endoscope, the gastrocamera allowed physicians to see inside the digestive tract without operating, launching the explosive fields of endoscopy and colonoscopy.
  • The creation of the OM SLR camera system (1972), which established Olympus as a pioneer in the development of the compact SLR. The Olympus® OM-1 SLR system revolutionized 35 mm photography, slimming down the bulky, heavy SLRs of the day into a compact package that influenced future SLR design by leading manufacturers.
  • The Olympus® Stylus® series (1991), the most successful series of 35 mm cameras ever introduced, due to its breakthrough weatherproof body and appealing design. The series was expanded in 2003 with the Stylus Digital all-weather camera, inspired by the beauty and genius of the Stylus Film collection, which has sold more than 22 million units since its introduction.
  • The VISERA® Multi-Specialty Digital Imaging Platform (2002), the world’s first integrated platform that powers digital rigid, deflectable tip, and flexible videoscopes for use in the operating room. VISERA allows customization of each procedure while maintaining standardization of the surgical platform, creating greater operating efficiency for OR staff and surgeons alike.
  • The world’s first fully designed, professional digital SLR camera system (2003), the Olympus E-1TM, designed to be one hundred percent digital from the ground up, therefore maximizing performance and delivering unsurpassed image quality.

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents; and
  • Digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders.
  • In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently, reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer electronics business spans North and South America.