I would like to emphasize how materials science and engineering have played a key role in realizing innovation in displays and artificial lighting, using blue LEDs as an example. Portable game machines and cellular/smart phones are very familiar items, especially to young people. It should be stressed that the younger generation can now enjoy full-color portable games and cellular/smart phones because of the emergence of blue LEDs based on nitrides. Today, the applications of blue LEDs are not limited to displays. In combination with phosphors, blue LEDs can act as a white light source and are also used in general lighting. In this presentation, I will describe how these material systems were developed and what the researchers who first developed these systems were aiming for. In addition, I will discuss what the next generation of researchers should be doing to achieve future innovations.