Celebrating Inventors and Innovation at GF

By Olivia Pozder
Corporate Communications Intern

As a proud supporter of employee innovation and patents, GlobalFoundries (GF) knows that a strong culture of innovation and inclusion builds better business outcomes. By championing employee patents and inventions, GF supports and shapes the semiconductor industry’s movement towards more features and greater energy efficiency, while at the same time promoting innovation and employee career development. Through inventor training programs, patent advocates, mentorship by experienced inventors, and financial incentives, GF supports employees through the process of research, discovery, invention development, and patenting.

In 2021, more than 560 GF team members submitted a total of 465 invention disclosures for review. Importantly, nearly 15% of 2021 inventors were women, making up a larger percentage of this group than ever before.

May 16-20 is Patent Week at GF, an annual celebration to honor and recognize the inventive minds and meaningful contributions of GF employees to both our company and our industry. Along with a week full of educational and training events to encourage employee-inventing, it is during Patent Week that the company announces which team members will be named GF Master Inventors, as well as the GF Diversity in Inventorship Champion.

Recognizing Master Inventors 

For GF team member Mandy Gu, a member of the technical staff on the integration team at Fab 8 in Malta, New York, inventing has been a way to continuously learn and challenge herself. “Inventing greatly helps me to improve my technical skills to advance my career,” Gu said. “For technology development, we have a lot of challenging problems to solve and it is important for me to keep learning new areas and coming up with new ideas. Putting these ideas into our patent portfolio is a great opportunity to challenge myself and to scrutinize my solutions for novelty and viability.”

Gu is among the 10 new Master Inventors named this year by GF. The title of Master Inventor is reserved for employees with at least 20 issued U.S. patents and who have a demonstrated track record of technical accomplishments and intellectual property (IP) asset creation. Now in its fifth year, the program is a powerful platform for honoring prolific employees as well as motivating other employees who may be thinking about submitting their inventions for patenting. 

Along with inspiring and mentoring their colleagues, Master Inventors are advisors and a resource for GF’s technology leaders and legal team on a range of technical, strategic, and IP topics. 

“The best advice an inventor can hear is ‘don’t be afraid of problems, take them as opportunities for innovation,’” Gu said.Being close to problems is the first step to coming up with ideas that may lead to great patentable solutions. The next step is to spend time and effort to understand the problems and study new areas to build up enough technical skills needed for innovation.”

Gu said GF’s culture of innovation is an asset for all employees to work together as a team and address challenging issues. “Since people who have expertise and experience in different areas look at the issue from a different angle, I received tremendous support and encouragement from fellow GF inventors in becoming a Master Inventor,” she said.

Mandy Gu

GF has so far recognized almost 80 Master Inventors, who according to David Cain, IP Legal Director for GF, based at the company’s Fab 9 near Burlington, Vermont, are “the shining stars of the company in terms of innovation … individuals who have had amazing careers of inventing and patenting.”

Recognizing the annual cohort of Master Inventors is one of many Patent Week activities to encourage and highlight employee inventing. Through regional panel interviews and patenting trainings and workshops, employees can learn about the patenting process and the resources available to help them along the way. 

A Culture of Innovation Leads to Differentiation

In addition to recognizing and celebrating the successes of GF inventors, Cain said there are external benefits to GF’s Master Inventor program and culture of innovation. Patents and IP can serve as a yardstick – beyond revenue, design wins, and new clients – which further showcases GF’s vital role in the semiconductor industry and global supply chain, he said. 

“New patents and IP are critical for protecting, maintaining, and growing our wide range of differentiated platforms, features, and specialized application solutions,” Cain said. “Differentiation is a huge focus here at GF, and our technologists and inventors play an oversized role in this differentiation by coming up with their great innovations and getting them into our IP pipeline so we can protect them.”

Inclusivity and Diversity Through Mentorship

Mentorship and teaching are significant aspects of GF’s mission to support an inclusive inventing culture. This support is made possible by the dedication of GF inventors to be resources for their peers and other team members.

This year, GF is proud to award the 2022 GF Diversity in Inventorship Champion. Sponsored by several of our Employee Resource Groups and corporate teams, this award honors a GlobalFoundries employee who is a prolific inventor and innovator that is dedicated to teaching, mentoring, encouraging, and supporting early career engineers in becoming inventors, specifically with early career engineers who are women or members of other historically underrepresented groups.

The recipient of this award is one of many such champions nominated for their hard work in creating a new and more diverse generation of inventors. All nominees are tremendous examples of GF’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive culture and community.

Keep an eye out for GF’s forthcoming announcement of the 2022 recipient of the GF Diversity in Inventorship Champion!

Also, check out these Q&As with other GF Master Inventors: