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Olympus Continues To Recognize American Innovation With Sponsorship Of Public Radio Program

Melville, NY, September 28, 2005 – Olympus, a precision technology leader in designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide, today announced its corporate sponsorship of a new public radio program about American innovation, They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators . The one-hour program, which will be made available free to all U.S. and international public radio stations and will first air next month, portrays innovators who shaped America throughout its history, from the steam engine to the search engine, from the airplane to the jet set, and from broadcast radio to 24-hour cable news. A preview of the program can be heard at www.olympusamerica.com/innovations .

The radio program is based on the critically acclaimed book They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators , by renowned author and editor Harold Evans, published by Little, Brown & Company in October 2004. The program is a sound-rich journey with Evans through time, space and ideas. It features interviews with Joan Ganz Cooney, founder of Children's Television Workshop, and the visionary behind the children's television show Sesame Street ; Jack Welch, renowned business leader and former chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Company; and F. Mark Gumz, president and chief operating officer, Olympus America Inc. The program also includes commentary from Ken Auletta, author and writer for The New Yorker ; and Nancy Koehn, associate professor, Harvard Business School, among others.

“As an innovative company in healthcare and consumer electronics, we are proud to continue to honor and recognize great American innovators and their impact on society throughout history,” stated Gumz. “Their visionary application of ideas and willingness to challenge assumptions have truly made America what it is today, as well as what it will continue to become.”

The public radio program brings to life the stories of pathfinders, inventors, democratizers, empire builders, the digital age and its communicators – including not only Edison, Ford and the creators of the Google search engine Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but less well known contributors, such as Theodore Judah, creator of the transcontinental railroad, and Oliver Evans, inventor of the first automatic integrated production line. The program also highlights innovations from women, who started to make a big impact in the 20 th Century after overcoming social constraints and lack of capital in earlier periods. Apart from Cooney, featured examples include family cosmetics company founder Estee Lauder, Barbie doll inventor Ruth Handler and Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch.

They Made America is produced by Sarah Montague of WNYC Radio, an award-winning producer of cultural features, documentaries, drama and spoken word programming, including the long running NPR series Selected Shorts . According to the Radio Research Consortium, public radio serves a growing audience of 27.2 million listeners each week. Check local public radio listings for airings of They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators .

“This program is compelling – and so timely,” commented Evans. “If the pace of innovation slackens – and it might be doing just that – so must the advance of civilization. Without the innovators of yesterday there would be no American Dream today.”

Olympus' support of the public radio program is an extension of the company's exclusive corporate sponsorship of the public television series They Made America , which aired nationally on PBS stations in November 2004. Like the public radio program, the television series was based on Evans' book.

In addition to supporting these programs, Olympus demonstrates its long-standing commitment to encouraging innovation with its Olympus Innovation Award program, which recognizes individuals who have fostered or demonstrated innovative thinking in education. The award program is executed in partnership with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance ( www.nciia.org ), a national alliance of nearly 200 colleges and universities fostering invention, innovation and entrepreneurship in U.S. higher education.

Olympus' public radio and PBS sponsorships and the Olympus Innovation Award program reflect 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, e.g., Japan's first microscope (1920); the world's first gastrocamera (1950); the Olympus® Stylus® series, the most successful series of 35 mm cameras ever introduced (1991); and the Olympus E-1™, the world's first fully designed, professional digital SLR camera system (2003).

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;
  • Digital and film cameras and digital voice recorders.

In the U.S. and Canada, Olympus America serves healthcare 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 consumer electronics business spans North and South America.

Elizabeth Sullivan
Olympus America Inc
(631) 844-5005
Christian Pflaumer
Chandler Chicco Agency
(212) 229-8491