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July 2012


Inventors from across the Midwest, and as faraway as Hawaii, traveled to Redwood Falls, Minnesota to attend the 55th Annual Minnesota Inventors' Congress held June 8-9, 2012. This event gave inventors the opportunity to showcase their inventions and have time to network with other inventors. Other opportunities included training sessions, and the opportunity to talk with patent attorneys and consultants who are experts in the product development process.

The Minnesota AgrAbility Team, including Carol Fury, Al Rasmussen, Jonathan Chaplin, and Dan Fury participated in the event, judging the inventions to determine the top three to receive the 2012 Minnesota AgrAbility Awards awarded at the evening banquet.

Jonathan Chaplin also presented a training session for inventors titled, "Engineering Safety in the Mind's Eye." The session provided a framework to conduct a hazard analysis of their design.

Again this year, the high quality and the wide variety of inventions resulted in many tough decisions having to be made. In judging the inventions for the AgrAbility Awards, the following two questions were asked:

  1. Does the product help solve a problem or overcome a barrier for people with a disability and/or chronic health condition?
  2. Does the product help people cope more effectively with barriers related to the normal process of aging?

First place was awarded to Mark Hendrickson for his "MEG" Modular Electric Guitar, second place to Reed Felton for his Reduced Ratcheting ARC System, and third place to Ed Maas for his TRUCPACK-Hydraulic Power Unit.

The MN AgrAbility Project is committed to help recognize and promote specific inventions that will enhance the lives of those with disabilities.

Submitted by Dan Stores