The STEMIE Framework

The STEMIE Framework

The STEMIE Framework is detailed in our white paper, The Rise of STEMIE. As you will read, this outlines the four independent processes that constitute the overall innovation process. These processes may be independent or inter-related, depending on the starting point and desired end point. These processes are:

  • The Scientific Process
  • The Engineering Design Process
  • The Invention Process
  • The Entrepreneurship Process

Underlying each of these processes are roles, including:

  • Scientist
  • Engineer
  • Inventor
  • Entrepreneur

STEMIE was designed to assimilate these four pillars of innovation into one framework.


Typically, and at a very high level, these processes can be sequential in nature. A scientist might start by researching a cure for a disease, and finding an effective solution that he/she wishes to take to market. He/she might need new equipment to create the cure in volume. If that equipment largely exists on the market, but just needs to be designed into a production process, then an engineer can be helpful in solving that problem. If that equipment does not exist and needs to be designed and created from scratch, then an inventor (who might also be an engineer) can help create that. An entrepreneur would build a company from scratch to take the produced solution to market.

Said another way, science helps establish the baseline of knowledge that an engineer or inventor can apply to solve problems and an entrepreneur can create a company to take these solutions to market. Engineers typically differ from inventors in a straight forward and legal way: engineers are typically given problems to which they need to craft solutions, where inventors search the world for problems to solve and create new, novel approaches from scratch – which then should be protected by the intellectual property process. A civil engineer being asked to create a new bridge across a river is not necessarily inventing anything new, even though the design of the bridge itself will be new and unique to the application. If a person invented a new construction technology wherein new graphene nano particles were used to formulate a new type of beam for the bridge, then that would be an invention that could be used by an engineer in creating the new bridge.

Historically, some of these terms have been used interchangeably. Engineers and inventors are often confused, and with the advent of fields like biomedical or chemical engineering, the lines between fundamental research and applied engineering have blurred. However, this paper puts forth that there are clear differences – and interconnectivities – among these processes and roles that are worth defining, particularly in light of increasing public and private programs focused on encouraging greater development of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) resources in the U.S.

Four Processes of Innovation

Indeed, we believe that where STEM creates a baseline in knowledge and problem solving, the process of Invention uses that baseline to create unique and novel solutions to problems, and entrepreneurship takes those novel solutions to market. This yields a framework that puts Invention and Entrepreneurship as processes that complement and extend the efforts in STEM – specifically, in an overall framework known as STEMIE. (Note: While the underlying STEM knowledgebase might grow to include Arts (STEAM) or Reading (STREAM), the ability for Invention and Entrepreneurship to build on these resources and programs would be represented by STEAMIE or STREAMIE.)

STEMIE represents the true economic impact of our investment in these underlying core STEM skillsets. It represents the creation of novel patented solutions and of businesses that create jobs and income to the U.S. By extending the model of STEM, we are indeed completing the cycle of taking advantage of all of our investment in building up STEM skillsets, since research has shown that most new jobs and GNP growth comes from the creation of new small businesses that grow around new technologies and other solutions, and not from the annual replacement cycle of new workers into large commercial and academic research entities.

STEMIE represents American growth and a fulfillment of our ambitions for STEM.

For more information on STEMIE, check out these links:


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