September 2009

New Futures for Human Health and Enhancement: An Exploration of Nanotechnology-based Product Concepts in InnovationSpace

Arizona State University, 2006 - $30,445

This grant supports a course at ASU in which teams of undergraduates design and develop new nanotechnology devices in the areas of human health and enhancement. The course is driven by three key pedagogical ideas: transdisciplinary team-based learning; Integrated Innovation, a model of product development; and the development of intellectual property for transfer to the marketplace.

Advanced Design in Biomedical Engineering

University of Virginia, 2006 - $21,200

This grant supports the expansion of an undergraduate course in biomedical design. The course engages undergraduate students in creative design before they reach their senior capstone course, encouraging students to develop and maintain their creativity while motivating further independent course-based learning. In the end, the course hopes to provide students with theoretical and practical design experience, an introduction to entrepreneurship in biomedical engineering, and an introduction to the discipline.

Engineering for People and Markets in California's Central Valley

California State University, 2006 - $28,570

This grant supports the establishment of a new program within the Institute for Public Anthropology at California State University, Fresno. E-Teams consisting of engineering, anthropology and entrepreneurship students will collaborate on the engineering students' senior project to produce an engineering innovation with human applications and a business plan. Students in the program will participate by fulfilling the requirements of their own programs as well as taking part in a one-unit seminar team taught by E-Team advisors from three disciplines every semester. The seminar will focus on basic instruction in engineering, anthropology and entrepreneurship, as well as principles of entrepreneurship, group problem-solving, and group processing.

Academic Partnership for Sustainable Practices in Community Development

Colorado State University, 2006 - $7,500

This grant supports the development of a partnership between three major Colorado universities as a means of sharing resources. The goal of the partnership is to better educate engineers as social entrepreneurs for sustainable community development. The main aspect of the partnership consists of two workshops and a Partnership Resource Center that will promote the development of the tri-university partnership. The first workshop, held in the spring of 2007, will focus on institutional change and innovation while the second workshop, held in 2008, will provide a means of learning about and assessing curricular and pedagogical innovations in related engineering programs. The Partnership Resource Center will serve as a virtual regional clearinghouse to bring together resources related to sustainable community development and will serve as the main information node for participants within the academic partnership. In addition, the PIs will pilot experimental distance education courses at the three institutions as a means of generating collaborative activity among students, faculty, and staff.

Entrepreneurship through Experiential Learning and Community Service

University of Cincinnati, 2006 - $30,500

This grant supports the development of a two-quarter undergraduate-level honors course entitled "Entrepreneurship through Innovative Interdisciplinary Projects in Technology and Community Service" to be offered in spring and fall 2007. The course entails student E-Teams partnering with a nonprofit agency to develop solutions to specific issues the agency faces. Once solutions are devised, E-Teams will assess the technical and commercial viability of the solutions themselves. The course will be taught by seven faculty members from four disciplines. During the initial implementation of the course, both students and faculty will attend a private seminar each quarter at Eureka! Ranch, a private think tank with a focus on innovation, marketing and personal leadership.

Interdisciplinary Science and Entrepreneurship Graduate Program

Western Carolina University, 2006 - $9,000

This grant supports the development of a new Masters degree in Science and Entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University. The program seeks to help students launch new products or ventures by having them go through the process of preparing a technical business idea. The Masters degree consists of a three-part curriculum covering the student's scientific area of interest, technical innovation and opportunity, and integrated business skills. Students must complete a technical internship as well as capstone project. The main emphasis of the program is on biotechnology and environmental science, two areas of strength at the university and local industry.

Transforming Engineering Capstone to a Radiant Entrepreneurial Program

University of Idaho, 2006 - $18,000

The University of Idaho is in the process of developing the Vandal Innovation and Enterprise Works (VIEW), a cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship program that brings together UI community members around learning about entrepreneurship, social responsibility, and "creating results that matter". To date, VIEW has developed an organizational structure, marketed the idea to the UI administration, gained funding from all UI deans, and created a part-time director position. Further, VIEW has raised $50,000 to support an annual business plan competition, and held the first competition. Finally, VIEW has launched a new interdisciplinary course in entrepreneurship, Business 414, which resulted in eight E-Teams.

This grant supports the next phase of VIEW development. UI faculty intend to build a diverse community through cross-discipline courses and the business plan competition, and create successes with high profile E-Teams to show what is possible through meaningful collaboration. To achieve these goals, VIEW intends to: 1) build collaboration among the faculty who teach Business 414 and the senior engineering capstone courses; 2) link those courses with the business plan competition; 3) remove UI institutional boundaries to student course involvement; 4) negotiate faculty rewards for participating in VIEW from the UI administration; 5) create a faculty mentoring program for E-Teams; 6) offer faculty development workshops; and 7) apply best practices of business creation and high performance organizations.

University of Central Florida Pathways to Commercialization Course

University of Central Florida, 2006 - $29,000

Over the past six years, the University of Central Florida has expanded its technical entrepreneurship resources for students. NCIIA funding has helped to support this expansion with two course and program grants, one for the Entrepreneurship Field Project course in technology entrepreneurship and the other for the Genesis E-Teams Program coordinated by the UCF Venture Lab. The program has spawned several E-Team ventures in partnership with the UCF Solar Energy Center, UCF Stormwater Management Academy, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Florida Solar Energy Center. One team received first place in the UCF business plan competition.

Now UCF proposes to develop Pathways to Commercialization, a course to help engineering, business, and science students develop raw technical ideas into viable product concepts and build them into business propositions. In the course, multidisciplinary student teams will identify promising intellectual property through the UCF Office of Research and Commercialization. The teams will research the commercial potential of the intellectual property and develop commercialization plans. During the course, teams will attend relevant lectures and network with successful entrepreneurs, lenders, and investors.

Entrepreneurship at Faith-Based Institution: Reading Group as Stepping Stone

Calvin College, 2006 - $4,550

Calvin College's long-term vision is to enhance the entrepreneurial environment on campus through the creation of an Entrepreneurial Design and Technology Center. The center will offer an entrepreneurially focused curriculum and extracurricular opportunities for students such as real-world product development experiences and collaboration with industry. Students and faculty will work together in developing and commercializing innovative products.

The grant supports the early stage planning process in the development center, enabling Calvin College faculty to define the mission and vision of the project and learn more about entrepreneurship. First, faculty from business, economics, science, art, philosophy, communication, and engineering will form a cross-disciplinary reading group to explore what entrepreneurship means within Calvin College's faith-based Christian perspective and create a vision for the center that emphasizes ethics and community service. The reading group will cover topics such as entrepreneurship basics, social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship from a faith-based perspective, entrepreneurship success stories, innovation, and high-tech startups, as well as curriculum, institutional and funding development. Faculty will participate in workshops on how entrepreneurship can be integrated into coursework. In addition, faculty will attend the NCIIA conference.

Expansion of Our Technical Entrepreneurship Program

University of Miami, 2006 - $6,500

With support from a NCIIA course and program grant the University of Miami first offered Technical Entrepreneurship (TE) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 1999. NCIIA then awarded a second grant to continue the course, expanding it to other engineering students and offering it as an alternative to the mandatory Senior Design Project course. To date, more than 100 students have completed the TE sequence with good results, and several E-Teams have been awarded grants. One project led to a patent application, and many others have led to invention disclosures.

This grant allows for further expansion of the course, revising it to meet important new goals. New aspects include the following: 1) Transforming TE into a truly interdisciplinary course, including students from other disciplines by adding faculty and other partners. 2) Collaborating with the School of Business Administration to include business students in E-Teams for SBA credits. 3) Establishing a dedicated design and prototyping studio to replace the lab that was destroyed in a fire. 4) Restructuring the lecture series to improve student selection of projects, searches for existing work, budgeting and discussions on the design process, prototyping, testing, documentation, and the legal and business aspects of entrepreneurship. 5) Create structures for sustaining promising E-Team projects beyond graduation. Some of the TE course renovations may be transferable to NCIIA-funded courses at other institutions.