May 2000

Building a Curriculum in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Management at UMass Amherst

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is launching a new program in Technology Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (TIE). NCIIA funding sustains the first of a two-course foundation sequence for a three-year time span. The goal of the first course is to serve as an introduction to systematic innovation and entrepreneurial skill, thinking, and practice, providing a foundation of conceptual skills, technical content, and experiential understanding essential to effective innovation and entrepreneurship. The follow-up practicum course supports the development of E-Teams and provides core skill content such as business plan development, fundraising, and market research.

A key complementary component to the course is the student-run UMass Five College EntreClub, which was the prototype for the NCIIA publication “The EntreClub Handbook.”

Software Engineering & Entrepreneurship

Drexel University

This project supports Muhlenberg College in creating a new Software Engineering and Entrepreneurship (SE&E) course that enables students to learn more about invention, entrepreneurship, and software engineering. SE&E examines the ideas and techniques required to create computer-based systems that address real-world problems, and engage student teams in developing prototypes of such systems. E-Teams include students from the Biomedical Entrepreneurship course, depending on selected projects and student backgrounds. Each team develops a proof-of-concept or prototype, and an initial business plan. The entire class meets regularly for guest lectures, code reviews, presentations, and readings discussions.

Innovations in Architectural Infill

Hampshire College

NCIIA funding helped create one new class and two new workshops focusing on "architectural infill" at Carnegie Mellon. Architectural infill is the fine grain of architecture that students don’t often get the chance to imagine, research, or develop. The new additions are Architectural Infill I: Healing Devices, a semi-independent study course in which students research, develop, and test a narrow range of products previously explored in related classes; Architectural Infill II: Innovations in Architectural Casework, a workshop within an existing course that introduces students to human needs, human factors, perception, cognition, and specialized need design; and Architectural Infill III: American-Japanese Collaboration, a two-week collaboration that may be worked into the Carnegie Mellon Study Abroad Program. It aims to apply installations and designs that improve quality of life for people throughout the world.

The Integrated Technology Ventures (ITV) Program

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

This project supports the University of Florida in creating the Integrated Technology Ventures (ITV) Program. The ITV Program aims to provide engineering and business students with an educational experience that closely mimics a true entrepreneurial environment. Students form virtual start-up companies led by actual CEOs. In addition to their product development, students complete research assignments, as well as attend supplemental lectures on entrepreneurial approaches and problem solving.

The ITV Program builds upon successful UF industry interaction model programs such as the Integrated Product and Process Design Program, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Office of Technology and Licensing, and two university supported technology start-up incubator facilities.

University of Maine Entrepreneurship Program

Lehigh University

NCIIA funding spurred the development of an entrepreneurship program at the University of Maine, encouraging students to think innovatively toward new product development leading to commercialization. The program encourages inventive, innovative, and entrepreneurial initiatives by bringing together students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Students from the Colleges of Business, Engineering, and the Sciences merge with existing entrepreneurs, researchers, and experts in business development and technology commercialization to develop new Maine companies.

The entrepreneurship program is initially offered as a special topics course, introducing students to entrepreneurship through weekly business seminars. The second semester offers a more in-depth and detailed seminar series, in which E-Teams form. Students who wish to continue the development of a business beyond the course are encouraged to participate in the activities of the Target Technology Incubator as affiliate members or Tenant companies.

Updateable Message Personal CD Player - Gen 4

Drexel University

This E-Team received a previous Advanced E-Team grant for development of the X-CD system, a system that integrates wirelessly updated messages with recorded music. The X-CD is a portable CD player that receives messages broadcast over FM sub-carrier, stores them in memory, and plays them back before, during, or after any CD played, as appropriate. Listeners receive the X-CD broadcasts, consisting of story capsules, interviews, reviews, and advertisements, automatically when they use a properly equipped personal music player. Magazines, television shows and others who advertise to young adult audiences will buy air time from X-CD and provide the broadcasts. X-CD players, branded by these sponsors, and will be offered to magazine subscribers or prospective subscribers. The sponsors, magazines like Rolling Stone or Teen People, or TV shows like MTV, will then gain access to the young adult market.

To date, the X-CD E-Team has created three successful prototypes and is now ready to create a fourth generation prototype. While the first three prototypes have been PC-based, the fourth will be built around an embedded microcontroller. In the first phase of the work plan, each team member will design and build a major subsystem of the self-contained module. The end goal of this phase is that all key subsystems will function properly in isolation. In the second phase, the E-Team will integrate the subsystems into a whole. In the third phase, the team will conduct field testing, range measurements, system optimization, and concept/functionality refinement.

The X-CD E-Team consists of three computer science undergraduates. They work with an electrical engineering faculty member and the founder and president of SixtySeven Kilohertz, Inc.

Transesophaegal Cooling Device (TEC)

Stanford University, 2003 - $18,200

Multiple studies have shown that cold therapy can protect the heart from myocardial infarction by slowing blood flow through major organs after the onset of ischemia. Building on cold therapy theory, this E-Team invented the Transesophageal Cooling (TEC) device, which cools the damaged area of the heart immediately after ischemia by using a cooling transesophageal balloon catheter.

The device consists of a cooling balloon catheter inserted through the naso/oralpharyngeal pathway. Once the catheter is placed within the esophagus closest to the heart, a cooling fluid flows through the catheter. The process preserves myocardial cells during an Acute Myocardial Infarction by slowing down metabolism and decreasing reperfusion injury associated with other methods that treat acute coronary disease.

The E-Team included four graduate students specializing in engineering, business, medicine, and biotechnology. Two advisors with backgrounds in cardiovascular medicine and biodesign supported the students.

AHS Hydrofoils: It's a New Generation

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Recreational power boats consume a large amount of fuel, with a typical thirty-foot boat yielding efficiencies of only two miles per gallon. The hydrofoil, a wing-like device that extends under the boat and lifts the hull out of the water, reduces drag and can potentially double the miles per gallon efficiency while improving seaworthiness and aesthetic appeal.

The AHS Hydrofoil E-Team has developed a retractable hydrofoil system that increases the fuel efficiency of cruiser-type pleasure boats up to fifty feet in length. Retractable foils can be lifted out of the water when not in use, enabling easier cleaning, shallow water navigation, and the option of cruising in displacement mode. AHS is the first company to develop and produce a retractable hydrofoil system

Prototyping and Development of DNA Amplification Method

University of Virginia-Main Campus

Mass-produced DNA is used in a number of industries, including nanotechnology applications, gene therapy, and as standards in diagnostic tests. However, existing DNA production technology is slow, inefficient, personnel-intensive, and provides opportunities for human error and cross contamination of products. In response to the need for better, faster DNA production, this E-Team developed the Triathlon Thermal Cycler, a continuous, rapid thermal cycler that replicates DNA 150% more efficiently than the traditional thermal cycler and can potentially produce DNA 800% more efficiently due to its scalability.

The original E-Team consisted of Derek Gregg and Justin Swick, two IST undergraduates in the College of Science. After incorporating as Vandalia Research in March 2004, the company now has five employees, with Derek handling business development, Justin handling research and manufacturing design, a full-time lab technician on hand, and two Marshall professors, Dr. Elizabeth Murray and Dr. Michael Norton, on the management team. They secured an exclusive licensing agreement with Marshall for use of the cycler, and recently completed their first round of significant funding, securing almost $1 million from local West Virginia angel investors