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Transitioning Projects Between Student Teams

The Center for Bioengineering, Innovation and Design (CBID) program at Johns Hopkins University is directing undergraduate and Master’s level students in core principles of the needs-based innovation model. In a brief one-year period, students develop highly innovative products that have traditionally attracted much interest and various levels of follow-on funding. Oftentimes these projects are passed along from previous teams as students graduate and leave the university. While a transition between project managers is not uncommon in business, such a shift at the nascent stage of innovation invites new challenges. These projects, often just a year or two old, are very much still evolutionary: prototypes, intellectual property, and business models are continually adapting with new data and fresh ideas. In this paper we discuss many of the issues that may arise as projects undergo team turnover, offer some recommendations to mitigate these challenges, and present an illustrative case study.

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