Nurturing Invention, Innovation, and University Entrepreneurship Education

Friday, 14 February 2014
Columbus CD (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Phil Weilerstein , National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance , Hadley, MA
The U.S. is facing significant challenges in bringing innovations based on emerging scientific discoveries into the global market. While we remain world leaders in scientific and engineering research and education, we can do much more to commercialize our best discoveries by catalyzing the creation of ecologically beneficial products and ventures. To achieve this, we need to increase opportunities for the practical translation of research discoveries into inventions and technology innovations that will improve society and create economic benefits. For university research to achieve greater impact, academic researchers in STEM disciplines need the tools, knowledge, and access to networks and resources that support and enable these outcomes.

This symposium brings together leaders of programs that engage researchers, students and faculty in engineering and science to pursue innovative and entrepreneurial learning and doing. Panelists will discuss the creation of effective educational ecosystems for stimulating and supporting emerging STEM innovators, and courses/programs designed to assist academic researchers in evaluating their technology's readiness for translation into practical applications and eventual commercialization.  The moderator and three panelists will present a model for training a larger pool of faculty to teach technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in academic institutions; discuss the process of developing a healthy I&E ecosystem; and “training the trainers” to guide students in successfully bringing their inventions and innovations out of the lab and into the hands of the communities those solutions are designed to benefit

Carol Dahl, Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation, will moderate the symposium with Phil Weilerstein, President of National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), addressing the process of educating faculty in establishing ecosystems that nurture and support invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education; Nijhawan Vinit, Professor and Director of Enterprise Programs at Boston University, discussing B.U.’s Institute of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization; and Dr. Thomas H. Zurbuchen, University of Michigan Professor and Associate Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs, discussing his institution’s innovation/entrepreneurial ecosystem which encompasses the MCubed program, MConneX, 1000 Pitches, and the Center For Entrepreneurship, among others.