About FedInvent

FedInvent is Wayfinder Digital's new project that delivers fresh insight on the federal innovation ecosystem and the inventions and innovations it creates. We follow the money, too.

Twice a week, the FedInvent Newsletter reports on federally funded research and development;  taxpayer-funded inventions and patents; and the science and technology priorities and policies that set the national innovation agenda.

We report on newly granted taxpayer-funded patents and bring you up-to-date information on published patent applications, the newest inventions coming from the federal R&D complex.

Why Should I Subscribe To FedInvent? 

The Federal Government Is Number Two In US Patents

If you count all of the US patents granted in 2020 that had some form of taxpayer funding, the federal government rank number two total patent count. That puts the federal government  right behind International Business Machines and ahead of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. on the US patent leaderboard, Some of those IBM patents had federal funding. FedInvent looks at the whole picture.

The Federal Government Spends Taxpayer Money

The federal government spends $127 billion annually on R&D.  That money funds epic Big Science projects that can’t get done without big funding and small  businesses and entrepreneurs with great ideas that need funding to get off the ground.  This funds a lot of important work (and some goofy stuff.)

The Federal Patent Portfolio Is Expansive

The taxpayer-funded intellectual property portfolio is the most diverse in the world. There isn’t a scientific domain in which the federal government is not supporting scientists, researchers, and technologists and, maybe most importantly, small business. 

Federal Science and Technology Agenda Drives Innovation

US science and technology priorities and policies and the laws, regulations, standards, and mandates that enable them set the US innovation agenda and fund the federal R&D budget. It determines the trajectory of America’s national and global competitiveness. 

There Is Important Work Going On

FedInvent tells the stories of these inventions and the inventors and the agencies that fund them whether they are at a university, a federally funded research and development center, or working on a federal contract or maybe in a garage or two.  Taxpayers should have an easier way to see what they are paying for.  That’s why we created FedInvent.


FedInvent’s goal is to present a holistic view on federal innovation presented through the lens of the inventions and patents that it creates. Here’s what we do to publish the FedInvent Newsletter.

Catalog Taxpayer Funded Inventions

Each week FedInvent publishes a catalog of taxpayer funded patented inventions and patent applications in the innovation pipeline.

Map Inventions To Grants & Contracts

FedInvent maps the patents and patent applications back to the contracts and grants that helped pay for the them.

Build Lists

FedInvent creates lists of the moving parts of the federal innovation ecosphere. It's complex. Lists help. Start here 

Follow The HERD

The Higher Education Research and Development entities that receive over $32B in federal funding each year.


FedInvent writes commentary, does research, reports the news and takes deep dives into the federal innovation ecosphere.

Follow The Money

FedInvent analyzes budgets, spending, who got the money and who did not. We find out where the money goes and where it does not.

Analyze the Inventions

FedInvent reports on the novel, the useful, the nonobvious, and the patents for inventions that are hiding in plain sight.

Track Federal Science Priorities

FedInvent follows science and technology goals and the areas of scientific and research interest at federal agencies.

Chronicle The Latest

Between FedInvent Newsletters check The Gazette for news and short updates to keep you up to date. The Gazette 

Follow Inventions To The Market

There are lots of standards, regulations and exclusive patent licenses that pave the way from idea to the market. FedInvent tracks them, too.

Who Should Read FedInvent?

FedInvent is designed for the people who make federal innovation possible — investigators, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, technologists, policy makers, legislators, economists and innovation researchers, technology transfer professionals, licensing agents, grant writers and grant givers, and patent professionals and, most of all, the taxpayers who pay for it.  

FedInvent is for anyone interested in innovation, inventions, and the impact of science and technology policy.  

We hope you’ll subscribe.

What Does My Subscription Include?

Paid Subscribers receive:

  • The twice weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox Wednesday and Friday; 

  • Access to the two weekly patent reports on the FedInvent website — the Wednesday patent edition, and the Friday published patent applications edition; 

  • Important details on each patent organized by funding agency; and

  • Access to subscriber only content on the FedInvent website.

Your subscription also includes FedInvent Deep Dives — serialized long-form analysis on important issues on taxpayer funded innovation and science and technology policy.

If you join the FedInvent mailing list but don’t have a paid subscription we’ll send you our FedInvent Roundup.

When Can I Expect My Newsletters to Arrive?

USPTO releases new patent grant data every Wednesday and new published patent applications data every Friday.  FedInvent starts its magic as soon as the data is released with the goal of getting your newsletter to your inbox by Wednesday and Friday evening.  If there is a delay, we’ll let you know.


Subscribe to FedInvent

News, Analysis & Prognostications from the Federal Innovation Ecosphere


FedInvent is the work of Arleen Zank and William Donnelly. We tell the stories of inventors, investigators, and innovators. We follow the data where it leads and love the intrigue of an innovation mystery.