Many poor villages in developing countries are located in isolated mountainous areas without access to grid-based electric power. Without access to electricity, villagers burn a variety of fuels for energy, which can lead to respiratory disease and environmental degradation. At the same time, a number of these villages have nearby streams that represent a considerable untapped natural resource for energy creation. This project seeks to take advantage of those streams, creating village-level pico-hydro systems that harness the small mountain streams to produce enough energy to serve the villages.
The team has developed and installed several pico-hydro systems in remote villages in Honduras. The team has replicated the process and made the pico-hydro systems sustainable by building them into community-owned businesses. Specifically, the grant allowed for the development of business plans for two types of companies: franchised power-producing operations in rural villages (villagers running the pico-hydro systems), and system design companies located in nearby urban centers.
Rotavirus, a disease affecting children age five and younger, kills 600,000 people every year in the developing world. The virus infects the villi of the small intestines, leading to severe diarrhea, vomiting, high fever and dehydration. While rotavirus vaccines exist, they are currently delivered only in liquid form in a syringe, making the vaccine difficult to administer to infants and requiring expensive refrigeration to maintain. Building on thin film technology such as the popular Listerine Breath Strips, this E-Team is developing a method of delivering a rotavirus vaccine orally, on thin film. The team believes this design will have many advantages over current syringe-based methods, including simplifying storage and distribution due to the film’s light weight and ability to be stored without refrigeration, and easier delivery to infants.
This proposal is a continuation of a sustainable Vision grant awarded to ASU last year to design and build an ethanol gelfuel manufacturing plant. ASU now proposes to partner with the Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the village chief and elders in Domeabra, Ghana to begin developing the gelfuel industry.
This ASU proposal seeks to 1) study the market and monitor the acceptance and market penetration of gelfuel in Domeabra and Kumasi; 2) develop ultra low-cost stoves designed to work with gelfuel that will be produced in Domeabra; and 3) help Domeabra make a supply chain for raw materials and marketing/distribution of the gelfuel and stoves.
Anticipated Outcome of Project:
The establishment of a supply chain for the raw materials and the marketing and distribution of gel fuel and low cost stoves. New jobs and revenue streams for Ghanaian entrepreneurs and a reduced dependence on wood burning stoves.
Why Project Should be Funded:
The project has made significant technical advances, but more remains to be done in order to launch a sustainable venture. If successful, this program could significantly reduce indoor pollution and resulting respiratory health problems.
Use of Funds:
Funding is requested for stipends, prototyping, travel expenses and indirect costs.
The Four Directions Program is focused on sustainable entrepreneurship and venture development for Native American students and others at Arizona State University. E-Teams develop business plans for tribal-based ventures emphasizing sustainability, and are encouraged to submit their proposals to NCIIA and seek support from other Arizona institutions
This project will help form E-Teams by creating hands-on project experiences for students from various disciplines. A series of three "E-workshops" will be held, in which professors and guest speakers will introduce and educate students on the process of developing an idea, performing market research, and creating business plans. At the end of the workshop series, E-Teams will compete for $1,000 in seed funding
Over seven million Americans suffer from Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), a painful and debilitating disease that affects veins in the lower extremities. Veins in the legs have one-way valves that usually function to prevent blood from pooling at the feet, but malfunctioning valves can cause leg swelling, ulcerations, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. Current treatments for CVI include anti-coagulant drugs, bed-rest and compressive legwear, but these target the symptoms of the disease rather than the cause. The standard surgical treatment is valve transplantation, but it’s difficult to find suitable donor valves, and the surgery is highly invasive.
This E-Team has fabricated a prosthetic vein valve that can be implanted in a lower-risk, minimally invasive procedure. The valve is flexible, biocompatible, does not form blood clots, and can be manufactured cheaply. The team has shown that the valve is operationally functional; they are now looking for funding to perform pre-clinical tests on sheep in preparation for FDA approval. A team of MBA students will write a business plan as well
This grant supports the creation of a two-course sequence in which student teams spend their senior year working with industry and/or regional entrepreneurs to develop a product idea and bring it to the prototype stage. E-Teams are comprised of engineering and business students who participate in the capstone course as well as a seminar series on ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship. All of the E-Teams focus on the needs of the first-responder community as well as medical applications, thus allowing students to gain both an appreciation for entrepreneurship and a respect for the contributions made by law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMS personnel
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
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
In partnership with the US Army, this E-Team has developed an environmentally friendly alternative to styrene. Styrene is a potentially carcinogenic petroleum derivative that has harmful effects on the environment and is highly regulated by the EPA. The team’s product is a soybean oil derivative that can replace styrene in thermoset resins (raw materials used in the fiber-reinforced products industry). The soybean oil is environmentally friendly (safe and renewable), performs better than styrene, and costs less
Getting appropriate technology to rural areas in Peru is very difficult due to the geographical dispersion of the approximately 70,000 rural communities living in extreme poverty. To help solve the problem, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is collaborating with Grupo de Apoyo al Sector Rural at the Pontificia Universidad del Peru, and the Inca-Bus mobile technology education program in Peru, to create and build systems for sustainable sources of energy, clean water, and air for the rural population using interdisciplinary student design teams from the Engineers for a Sustainable World and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers chapters at RPI. Projects will be identified and evaluated based on impact on basic human needs and potential for commercialization, providing long-term sources of income for these communities. The plan also includes curriculum development, student life and professional development, as well as research and technology transfer
Northwestern University has an undergraduate capstone design course that includes travel for students to work with researchers at the University of Cape Town in Africa. While students have been able to provide clear needs assessments and propose solutions to identified problems, it has become clear that there needs to be a way to maintain continuity on these projects so that they ultimately become product solutions. This grant supports the creation of an MS program as a way to further support the capstone projects. Specifically, the outcome of this project will be a new program that forms a track within the existing MS and BS-MS programs, but requires additional formal training in Healthcare Technology Management at the University of Cape Town and experience in acting as team leaders for the capstone project teams
With this grant, the service learning program at PSU will work to improve rural Kenyans’ economic well-being by addressing challenges of low agricultural productivity due to the use of simple instruments and tools. Service learning program-enrolled PSU students will work with students from the University of Nairboi and Moi University in improving a variety of devices, concentrating on making manually powered machines that significantly improve productivity. These devices will come with attachments that allow the machine to be powered by a small attachable petrol engine. It is expected that farmers' incomes will increase with the use of the improved manual devices, making it possible for them to purchase an engine, thus increasing productivity even further. Examples of potential devices include water pumps, electric generators, posho mills, decorticators, tillers, and power tools
For this grant, Ithaca College is partnering with Ecuadorian NGO Fundacion Maquipucuna (FM), an established organization with non-profit and for-profit wings that sells a range of fair trade, organic products in the US and elsewhere under its brand name, Choco-Andese. The partnership is meant to develop micro-enterprises in Ecuador based around poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability and will build on the ideas of students participating in a course administered this past year.
Ithaca hopes to send more students to Ecuador with this project and bring in partners for work on other projects, such as partnering with Cornell to use synthetic roof thatch made out of waste plastic to make homes more comfortable by absorbing heat
This E-Team is developing the City-Climber, a wall-climbing robot intended for use in the inspection of building facades. New York City law mandates the inspection of building facades every five years, and the task is currently accomplished by lowering three trained workers down the side of the building by scaffold equipment. Each additional drop to reach other areas of the façade requires a complete relocation of the rigging equipment, making the process time-consuming and expensive (the cost for one day can exceed $3,000). The E-Team’s robot adheres to the wall by employing aerodynamic attraction produced by a vacuum rotor package. Cameras and sensors inside the robot are used to assess the condition of the building façade, and the robot itself is remotely operated by a joystick
With this project, NCIIA supports the creation of Developing Products and Markets for Subsistence Marketplaces, a two-course sequence in which teams of engineering and business graduate students identify a general need in the developing world, conduct market research, and develop a prototype, manufacturing plan, marketing strategy and business plan. The course will begin in the fall semester of 2006, with students focusing on setting project objectives, understanding the context they’re designing for, and learning about the process of product development. Over Thanksgiving break the teams will travel to India, the first target area of the course, to do first-hand market research, and the remainder of the semester will be spent developing specific product concepts. The spring semester will be spent working the concepts up into prototypes, and developing manufacturing, marketing, and business plans
This project supports the development of a two-semester course sequence for seniors focusing on design and construction to mitigate the impacts of earthquakes on residential structures in developing regions. Through lectures, guest speakers, mentorship and on-site visits, students will be introduced to structural dynamics, passive seismic control, low-tech and low-cost alternative construction techniques, value engineering and socioeconomics. The course will be made up of about fifteen engineering and architecture students divided into three or four E-Teams, each assigned an industry mentor.
The E-Teams will research and design solutions, and build and test prototypes in a Structural Control and A-seismic Research (SCARE) lab. They will document their progress in a report, including a business plan for field implementation of the proposed solution, and visit a selected community in a developing region to implement their solution.
Among the educational outcomes, students will be taught the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, and environmental context, with an emphasis on design to save lives in earthquake regions
This project seeks to create a new type of senior thesis program at the University of Virginia. Currently, over the course of a nine-month period, engineering students write an individual thesis that identifies, analyzes and offers a solution to a specific technical challenge. With this project, UVA will move away from traditional (individual) research and toward multidisciplinary student collaboration by having E-Teams develop computer applications for use in the medical field. In liaison with the university’s school of medicine, each team will identify a medical need, suggest a solution, devise and test a prototype and follow the development cycle through to commercial viability.
Four E-Teams (each with three members) will be created during the first two years. Thereafter, it is assumed that more seniors from the annual pool of 450 individuals will join E-Teams; they will be selected on a competitive basis
Microfinancing is the delivery of financial services to the economically poor on a large scale and in a sustainable manner. While this approach has been highly successful tool for fighting poverty on a global scale, the small loans ($50-$500) require loan processing and labor–intensive activities that result in high transaction costs. With this project, Lehigh will develop E-Teams focusing on the implementation of pilot microfinance technology in developing countries, beginning in Honduras. The projects will include:
A rigorous application and selection process
An international immersion trip with students and faculty mentors
Experiential learning based on tackling real problems with external clients
Multidisciplinary student teams developing technologies and technology services
With this project, faculty at Arizona State University are developing an interdisciplinary undergraduate program with a focus on nanotechnology. The program, called Nanotechnology: Perspectives and Entrepreneurial Opportunities, draws together students with backgrounds in science, business, engineering, public policy, communication, pre-law and pre-medicine and forges links with industry and the regional entrepreneurial community.
The course curriculum defines nanotechnology, explores its underlying technologies and tools, and address issues of education and public understanding. Two main points of interest are emphasized: nanotechnology per se and environmental nanotechnology. Example projects include nanobiosensing, drug delivery systems, and recovery of materials in waste prevention. Five or six E-Teams form each year and are exposed to start-up and management concepts, strategic planning, business development, sales/marketing and team building. By completion of the program, students have developed skills in generating hypotheses, problem solving, cooperative learning, teamwork, patent dvelopment, and licensing and product marketing, in addition to having an increased understanding of creativity, innovation and leadership
The Marquette University College of Engineering is developing Strategic Technology Planning and Development, a new course in the field of engineering entrepreneurship. The course focuses on developing technology that will be appropriate and available for product transfer at the moment it is needed. The course organizes students into E-Teams with the goal of producing a strategic development plan for a new technology-based business opportunity. The opportunity may be original to the team, or may derive from current college R&D programs. To stimulate commercialization of resulting opportunities, E-Teams are entered into the annual Golden Angels Network business plan contest.
Each four to six person E-Team consists of students, faculty members, and industry experts. Students learn through lectures, discussions, projects, and presentations. Once established, the course will fill a core role in the university’s Engineering Management Program
Sustainable development reconciles society’s developmental goals with the planet’s environmental limits over the long term. Although the sustainability industry is built upon the discoveries of researchers, the road from discovery to commercialization is not well known by most investigators, students, faculty members, and early-stage entrepreneurs. Additionally, many underserved student groups, such as the Hispanic and Native American populations and women, have had little exposure to sustainability science and innovation-focused careers. To address these issues, faculty from Arizona State University’s International Institute for Sustainability and the ASU Technopolis are implementing a sustainability-focused Technology and Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Course (TLSE), Sustainability Entrepreneurship, to bring together graduate and undergraduate students and faculty members, educational and entrepreneurial communities, and underserved populations and engage them in the innovation pipeline.
Course attendees—students, faculty members, and early-stage entrepreneurs from greater Phoenix—will learn basic start-up and management concepts and be exposed to strategic planning, technology roadmapping, business development, finance, intellectual property, marketing, law, product development, sales, and team building. Class members will form entrepreneurial teams to develop sustainability-focused business plans and financials, culminating with formal team presentations before a panel of industry experts, attorneys, and venture capitalists. ASU will also provide additional support for students to develop their sustainability-related projects following completion of the course
This grant supports the University of Oklahoma’s Entrepreneurial Field Studies course, developed by faculty from the College of Business’s Entrepreneurship Center, which provides students with opportunities to apply concepts mastered in previous business courses while they work to develop intellectual property generated at the university. Student E-Teams work closely with the inventor of a product or service to bring previously shelved ideas to commercialization, with the ultimate goal of increasing wealth in the state of Oklahoma. Self-forming student teams choose intellectual property projects to undertake from several local institutions, including the office of Oklahoma Technology Development (OTD), the Noble Foundation, and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). The IP selection criteria include its ability to address social issues through technologies that solve critical problems and meet basic human needs. The scope of the teams’ due diligence generally involves research into the feasibility of commercializing patented IP, market research surrounding a new IP, or the development of a business plan for new IP.
The class will has an enrollment of twenty-four students, divided into eight E-Teams. Each E-Team is composed of three graduate students and a mentor, integral to the team’s activities. The students learn entrepreneurial evaluation processes in the classroom, partially through guest speakers, then execute due diligence on their chosen product in the field, working with the inventor to determine the market applications of the invention and the opportunity and feasibility of the proposed application. At the end of the semester, student teams complete a business plan and present it to a group of panelists from venture capital and private equity firms in the culminating business plan competition. Students involved in the competition gain access to networks of successful entrepreneurs, lenders and investors, team-building opportunities, business planning skills, and media exposure. At the course’s conclusion, they may form a company or perform as marketing agents on behalf of the university’s Office of Technology Development, receiving twenty percent of gross royalties
Major changes are underway at UCCS, which will culminate in the development of a new series of degrees: a Bachelors of Innovation (BI) and a Masters of Innovation (MI). These degrees encompass traditional disciplines, such as computer science and business, but also provide students with an extensive “innovation core” of courses intended to make them familiar with the process of innovation. NCIIA funds provide support for the development and implementation of two elements of these majors: a freshman-level “Introduction to Innovation” course and the central course of the innovation core, the six-term “Innovation Team” course. The first introduces students to innovation processes, problem-solving, teamwork strategies, etc.; the second involves them in a hands-on project in a multidisciplinary team comprised of eight to twenty students, ranging from sophomores to graduate students.
The University of Texas at Austin received NCIIA funds in 2003 to further develop their pre-existing Idea to Product Technology Commercialization Program (I2P™). NCIIA funding provided seed money to E-Teams generated by the I2P Competition process to help improve the quality of their products and prototypes and increase the potential for taking their ideas to market; helped faculty initiate an international intercollegiate component of I2P Program; and helped faculty develop a new, innovative Austin Technology Incubator Affiliate (ATI) initiative.
In 2005 NCIIA funded the I2P Program again, this time with money going toward strengthening and institutionalizing the international competition component of the I2P™ program and thus significantly expanding the potential number of E-Teams generated.
The International I2P™ competition is modeled after both the MOOT CORP® competition and the UT Austin I2P™ regional competition. It's designed to be a pre-launch, pre-business plan competition that assesses the market opportunity, technological feasibility, and intellectual property position of innovations from teams representing the leading research universities around the world. The competition has grown from six teams in its inaugural year to thirteen teams this year and will be expanded next year to at least twenty teams. To date, the UT Austin I2P competition, which also focuses on the creation of entrepreneurial ventures grounded in science and technology, has attracted approximately 200 teams made up of a mix of ethnically and gender diverse undergraduate and graduate students from a broad cross-section of UT’s colleges and departments
The University of Kansas School of Engineering, in partnership with the Office of Technology Transfer, is implementing a university-wide program in entrepreneurship: the Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurship Thematic Learning Community (E’ship TLC), creating a culture of entrepreneurial thinking across the campus. The E’ship TLC will be open to participation from faculty and students (graduate and undergraduates) across all disciplines. A subset of the students will also be enrolled in entrepreneurship courses that integrate business into subject-specific courses. A part-time administrator will manage the courses and be responsible for publicity across the campus community. Students in new upper level multidisciplinary courses areas will form cross-functional entrepreneurship teams to explore faculty inventions. The E-Teams will evaluate the technology from a science, engineering, legal, and business perspective, creating a strong foundation for commercialization. In addition, faculty inventors will be involved in the entrepreneurial process. Underclassmen in the TLC will interact with students in the advanced courses and learn from their volunteer experiences. The program will initially focus on bioengineering-related disciplines.
Pennsylvania State University’s Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), a student-led organization, was created in 2001 with the goal of providing undergraduate students with design and research opportunities that directly impact the lives of people in developing communities through active collaboration with university partners and host nations. Faculty in the Department of Engineering Design at Penn State are now creating a Service through Design and Entrepreneurship certificate to be offered through the College of Engineering in conjunction with the Entrepreneurship Minor.
Students receive the certificate after successful completion of a three-course series: Entrepreneurship Business Basics, which teaches intellectual property, finance, and marketing; Entrepreneurship and New Product Development, which examines the concept of new product launch within a mainstream company as student teams design, prototype a new product family, and then present the product concept to venture seed fund representatives from companies like General Electric; and Engineering Cultures, Appropriate Technology and Product Design in Developing Communities, which discusses appropriate technology and initiate collaborative team development between Penn State students and host university students working on preliminary problem recognition and design study.
Each year, two to four interdisciplinary E-Teams of four to six members are formed to address an infrastructure or product design problem in a developing community, specifically focused on addressing the needs of individuals living on less than $2 a day. Faculty, practicing engineers, NGO representatives, and community development practitioners work with teams as mentors.
Waste produced by the disposal of outdated computer systems presents a serious environmental problem. A team of business, engineering, and liberal arts faculty at Auburn University is developing balanced design curricula for junior and senior electrical engineering students that focus on sustainability design for computer equipment through teaching modules incorporated into existing courses and the development of Recycling the Toxic Computer, an elective senior design course. Auburn will also host a nationwide workshop on sustainable engineering curriculum development to disseminate the results of the program at the end of the three-year grant period.
Through modules inserted into laboratory courses, junior-year students learn the social, economic, and environmental impacts of computer system product design and manufacture. Senior-year students have the ability to incorporate sustainability constraints into the design of a computer system product, and seniors taking the elective design course demonstrate the design of a computer system product that meets sustainability requirements and generate a business plan for the product with the goal of bringing it to market.
Residential fires kill and injure thousands of Americans and cause billions of dollars in property damage each year. More than 428,000 home fires occurred in 1996, which resulted in a residential fire every 74 seconds, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). By the mid 1980s, laws that required alarms in all new and existing residences existed in 38 states and thousands of municipalities. Systems wired throughout the house are expensive to install and provide only a general alert, while standard smoke alarms are not interconnected. This E-Team’s Location Specific Alarm Relay (LSAR) system is designed to be installed in individual rooms, but has the ability to transmit data and can relate the location of smoke in the event of a fire. For example, the existence of smoke in the basement will be relayed to the second floor bedroom through a combined horn and voice alarm
Dairy farmers, animal processing facilities, and wastewater treatment plants use biogas generated from the anaerobic digestion of organic matter to stabilize their waste streams, facilitating processing for disposal or its conversion into usable by-products. NCIIA funding supports this E-Team in completing a technical feasibility study for a modular reactor that pressurizes and purifies biogas produced from anaerobic digestion of biomass using a closed-loop system. This will be the first step toward the commercialization of biogas-producing technology for use by commercial, industrial, and consumer clients who could benefit greatly from a reliable source of clean, renewable energy.
The US water supply and wastewater treatment is a $110 billion industry, of which $32.1 billion (30%) was spent in 2002 on capital improvements at municipal wastewater treatment facilities. In the next six years, municipalities are expected to spend an additional $100 billion to meet state and federal environmental standards. The team’s goal is to determine a practical system design and identify appropriate markets for commercialization, developing a thorough understanding of the economic value proposition for this technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-lab is a four-part series of courses and field trips that focus on international development, appropriate technologies, and sustainable solutions for communities in developing countries. In the fall, students focus on issues of international development and appropriate technology and partner with community organizations in developing countries to apply what they have learned. During the winter Independent Activities Period (IAP), students travel to their partner organizations to implement their projects and identify other possibilities for collaboration. In the spring, students learn about the design process and apply it to create solutions to the problems identified on their field trip. Over the summer, students return to their field sites to implement their designs, conduct field tests, and get user feedback.
NCIIA funding helps to expand the design portion of the class to include E-Teams. 10-15 E-Teams work through the design process and construct prototypes using design methodologies and rapid-prototyping tools presented throughout the term. Guest speakers talk about their successes and failures, providing insight into project implementation strategies.
For this project, NCIIA funding supports the development of an ongoing Entrepreneurial Enterprise program at Michigan Technological University. EE builds on the success of the school’s Enterprise program, in which teams of 30-40 students with diverse skill sets are handed a project by an industrial sponsor. The team acts as a “company,” the students as “employees,” performing testing and analyses, manufacturing parts, staying within budgets and schedules, etc. The Enterprise lasts several years, and students leave and enter the Enterprise fluidly, imitating a real company.
The proposed EE program is very similar to the Enterprise program, but differs in one key way: in EE, students will not be handed a project but will instead find creative applications or modifications of technologies already "on-the-shelf” at MTU, with the intention of developing and commercializing products.
This project supports a new finance-based, interdisciplinary course at Pace University, titled Entrepreneurial Financial Computing. The course is designed for undergraduates in finance, management, computer science and information technology. Students form heterogeneous, interdisciplinary E-Teams whose goal is the creative solution of a financial problem for a determined market by developing commercially viable software applications. Once completed, these applications are available on a university website and released in CD-ROM formats.
With the help of NCIIA funding the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology accelerated the development and implementation of a new three-course design sequence that prepares engineers and scientists for entrepreneurial careers. The sequence replaced the formerly offered single-discipline-focused senior design classes.
The first course in the sequence focuses on laying the foundations of business and technical topics; the second and third focus on team project work and the formation of E-Teams. Content includes lectures, discussions, hands-on activities, and case studies.
An appropriate faculty member or project engineer from Rose-Hulman Ventures mentors each E-Team. External advisors also support the teams.
With help from a NCIIA Course and Program grant, UCSF has created two new classes, and expanded two others, to form a four-course, university-accredited Certificate Program in BioEntrepreneurship. Run by the Center for BioEntrepreneurship at UCSF, each course focuses on forming E-Teams to bring biomedical innovations to market. The new and expanded courses are part of a CBE-developed suite of programs directed at campus entrepreneurial audiences at all levels of experience. These include seminars, mentoring of E-Teams, student-run programs and community outreach programs.
NCIIA funding supported the creation of a new class in the Master of Engineering Management (MEMP) program at Duke University, entitled Engineering Entrepreneurship. Duke professors understand that, in today’s competitive environment, it is critical for engineering students to understand business issues, and the new course addresses this need. The course is designed to combine classroom entrepreneurship training with a team-based project whose goal is to develop a business plan to commercialize Duke University intellectual property. Teams of 4-6 students assess the technical and commercial viability of 3-5 inventive concepts developed by Duke researchers. The teams develop business plans and present them to a panel of judges consisting of business experts and potential small business investors. If the plans/products show commercial promise, the teams apply for NCIIA E-Team grants as well as receive funding from Entrepreneurial Fellowships from Duke University and the Duke Start-Up Challenge.
Wheelchair basketball is among the five highest risk sports for the disabled. Injuries resulting from collisions are frequent during wheelchair basketball because the athletes must not only control the ball and the game, but also themselves and their chairs.
The Balance Sport Wheelchair E-Team has designed a less cumbersome, more responsive, and safer wheelchair that employs a simple leaning/braking system to help the athlete control herself. The seat of the wheelchair sits atop a centralized column that passes through a universal join mechanism; the column extends down where it's attached to a braking system on the chair’s two large wheels. When the player leans left, the chair turns left; when they players leans right, the chair turns right; when the player leans back, the chair stops.
The E-Team consists of four students: three undergraduates majoring in industrial design, and one member of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team
This E-Team looks to make the UC Berkley shuttle system safer and more convenient by developing a shuttle tracking service. The service provides the location of Berkeley shuttles to students and other riders through a central server connected to the internet. Each shuttle transmits its location data via a built-in GPS device to internet access points situated throughout the shuttle routes. Users can access the location data with their cell phones, through the web, or on public display boards placed near campus buildings.
The team consists of three students specializing in electrical engineering and computer science, business administration, and bioengineering. One professor of engineering and five industry advisors aid the students in areas of design, marketing, and safety
Needle-based drug delivery is often painful, has limited accuracy, and typically requires a visit to a doctor’s office. Some therapeutics are totally inaccessible to individuals because they can't safely and reliably deliver the drugs themselves. To address these problems this E-Team has developed a hand-held microjet drug delivery system to replace the use of hypodermic needles in treating arthritis patients. The piezoelectric actuation device accurately delivers the correct dosage with minimum pain.
The E-Team consists of three undergraduate students specializing in bioengineering
This project supports the implementation of a comprehensive entrepreneurship development colloquium that develops E-Teams and serves students across all academic majors at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). Throughout the colloquium, E-Teams of students, technology and business faculty, successful local entrepreneurs, and other advisors work collaboratively to develop new products and apply existing technologies to new ideas.
While the honors colloquium is nothing new at STCC, the proposed program would act as a vehicle to engage high achieving students from across academic divisions to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations. The primary goal of the colloquium is to develop and implement a set of strategies that will nurture, promote, enhance, and support innovation, invention, and entrepreneurial enterprises among E-Team students through the use of courses, workshops, lectures, field trips, laboratory experiments, professional consultation and group dynamics. When the semester ends, E-Teams are further encouraged to pursue commercialization by advisors and supported by STCC resources
The Software for Automated Mold Design E-Team aimed to reduce development time and product cost of current mold design methods with software that automates the mold design process.
The software automatically designs molds for complex objects such as automotive parts, toys, plastic consumer goods, and scanned objects. The product automates part design, process planning, price quotation, and mold design for scanned irregular shapes. These innovative features significantly reduce the time, expertise, and costs traditionally associated with mold design.
The E-Team consists of two graduate students and a professor from the mechanical engineering department. Six industry experts support the team
This E-Team has developed GASDAY, a rolling eight-day natural gas load forecasting service for large and midsized local distribution companies (LDCs). The team's objective is to scale the GASDAY service to provide affordable accessibility to small municipal gas utilities. Smaller-sized LDCs will enjoy the benefits of this industry-leading load forecasting package built specifically for their customer base. The service increases a forecaster's understanding of and confidence in the gas load forecast.
GASDAY has three advantages over its competitors. First, it's an existing tool based on ten years of research and used to forecast more than 17% of the nation's natural gas demand. Second, GASDAY's biggest competitor is usually an in-house forecasting employee; because small LDCs often cannot afford developing a solid forecasting tool, GASDAY can cost-effectively fulfill their need. Finally, the project has several industry experts guiding and supporting development.
The E-Team includes two graduate students specializing in computing and marketing and two undergraduate students majoring in computer engineering and electrical engineering. Two professors of engineering and one industry expert support the students. Visit the project's website here
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
This project supports the incorporation of E-Teams into Franklin W. Olin's "Olin Hatchery," a resource center supporting student-initiated ventures on campus.
E-Teams form early on, in the sophomore year, with the idea that the teams will continue their work through their junior and senior years
Northeastern University is creating a School of Technological Entrepreneurship, and has already raised $3 million for the startup. The vision is a professional school that can become a national leader in education and research at the intersection of technology development and business creation--Technological Entrepreneurship. This grant supports an undergraduate concentration in Technological Entrepreneurship consisting of five joint courses, which will allow the engineering students to complete an accredited engineering degree and the business students an accredited business degree. This grant will help fund twelve undergraduate E-Teams consisting of ninety-six students--sixty engineering students and thirty-six business students
Finlandia University, Hancock, Michigan and Columbia College, Chicago, share a design education philosophy that is linked to the real world. Finlandia University partnered with the Kuopio Academy of Design to adopt the business-based Finnish education model which requires a cross-disciplinary design and business curriculum. Columbia College engages students with as many real life design problems as possible, requiring innovation in their problem-solving approach to design problems.
This grant supports a collaborative program between the two institutions--The Institute for Global Design Education--which will marry the strengths of their design programs. Ultimately, the institute will be a consortium of international design schools and corporations that will identify, consider and solve international design problems.
This grant supports phase one of institute development in which both institutions will integrate the E-Team concept into their curriculum on a permanent basis. In phase one, Finlandia University will develop two new classes in design and entrepreneurship, while Columbia College integrates E-Teams into its existing course structure. Finlandia proposes to offer the Art and Design Project Management and Art and Design Project courses as a continuing project learning structure within the Art and Design Program. The courses will allow student teams to pursue project work in their sophomore and junior spring semesters, leading up to their senior final project. Columbia College will integrate E-Teams into their five studio sequence. The first three studios teach materials and techniques, design paradigms and product semantics, while the fourth and fifth studios facilitate team project work. E-Teams at both schools will pursue solutions to real-world problems offered by corporate partners including, ED Designs, the largest design firm in Finland; Wilson Sporting Goods, Chicago; and Kone from Moline, Illinois
In 1997, the Department of Mechanical Engineering launched its Managing New Product Development course. This graduate course is part of the Management of Technology Program at the University of California, Berkeley. It specifically aims to develop interdisciplinary skills in students, for successful product development in today's competitive marketplace. To accomplish a truly multi-disciplinary course experience, the course is cross-listed in three UC Berkeley Colleges including Architecture and Engineering, Business, and Information Management and Systems, and at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Students from these colleges team to work through all stages of new product development, learning useful tools and techniques to execute each step of the process. The course is extremely popular with students, and tends to over-enroll. However, although the course is successful, it has several limitations. One, the course does not support E-Team projects past the end of the semester; two, it does not provide students with seed money to cover project costs.
Drawing from lessons learned in the Managing New Product Development course, the principal investigators will develop two new courses, and improve the Managing New Product Development course. In all three courses, NCIIA funding will provide seed money for E-Team projects during the semester, and support for especially promising teams at the close of the semester. The first new course is called Designing Technology for Girls and Women. This lower division course will cover gender issues associated with new product development. In it, students will apply state-of-the-art information technology and new tools to tackle and design solutions to crucial societal problems where women are the end users. A major goal of the course is to motivate women students to persevere and thrive in engineering. Designing Technology for Women and Girls will work closely with the Institute of Women and Technology and companies within the San Francisco Bay area. The second new course, Introduction to Product Development, provides students with an operational experience in the development of innovative and realistic engineered problems. The course will introduce design concepts and techniques, and will guide students through the process of developing a design or feasibility study. Students will make both individual and group oral presentations, and participate in conferences
Currently, the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater (UWW) offers only one course in entrepreneurship: Product Development. This course covers the process of developing a new product in the context of an established business. In an effort to expand its entrepreneurship program, the UWW Innovation Center will develop a new course in entrepreneurial marketing for new ventures, based on those offered at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Syracuse University.
The Entrepreneurial Marketing course focuses on the key marketing strategies relevant for new venture initiation, as well as marketing decisions for small and growing organizations. In the course, students learn to:
apply marketing concepts to entrepreneurial company challenges
take on the special challenges and opportunities involved with developing marketing strategies
identify entrepreneurial opportunities from emerging trends in marketing practice
develop inexpensive, valid approaches to identifying customer needs and conducting market research
design creative approaches to marketing communications, and
explore the varying role of marketing strategies among entrepreneurial firms.
The course environment facilitates student acquisition and application of knowledge of new market venture strategies, recognizing variances in the process of different industries and companies
An adverse effect of chemotherapy is that it lowers patients' white and red blood cell production as it attacks their rapidly dividing cancer cells. Progressive reduction in red blood cell counts leads to anemia, while reduction in white blood cells leaves an individual susceptible to infection. In the event of infection, mortality rates for chemotherapy patients can reach as high as 70% if the patients are not promptly treated with antibiotics. Thus, quick detection of infection is critical to maintaining chemotherapy patients' health. Because fever is an indicator of infection, chemotherapy patients and their caretakers must monitor patients' temperatures to ensure patient health. When fever is detected, patients require prompt medical attention.
The ChemoTemp E-Team has developed a fever monitoring and reporting device for chemotherapy patients. Although a variety of related technologies are available on the market to track fever, these products do not provide the comprehensive service offered by ChemoTemp. The device accurately measures patient temperature, identifies fever and risk of fever, and reports fever conditions to the patient and/or caregiver. Patients can wear ChemoTemp comfortably for long periods of time. The E-Team has nearly completed an alpha version of the device, and plan to finish circuit and algorithm developments in the next phase of the project. The E-Team has conducted a market and patent search and found that no like products exist on the market specifically for chemotherapy patients. The team consists of twenty-three undergraduate students from the Junior/Senior Engineering Clinic course, including students from electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and possibly life sciences students. These students work with a team of twelve graduate students and the clinic course professor.
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
The Picker Engineering Program is the first degree-granting engineering program at a women's college in the US. In its first year, the program attracted nineteen students; in 2002, twenty-one students declared Engineering majors. In the fall of 2002, fifty-three students enrolled in the Introduction to Engineering course, more than doubling the target number of enrollees.
The Picker Engineering Program strives to redesign engineering courses to make them more relevant to the challenges facing society today, to women, and to other underrepresented groups. The Engineering Design Clinic (EDC) is the program's senior capstone course. In EDC, student teams solve engineering problems posed by industry sponsors. While this is a valuable exercise, it does not introduce students to entrepreneurship.
With NCIIA funding, EDC E-Teams will have the option to pursue their own project ideas, rather than those posed by an industry sponsor. Teams of two to five students will be invited to submit proposals for a design clinic project based on an entrepreneurial idea in April of their junior year. The EDC Director will select teams to pursue their project ideas. EDC will offer entrepreneurship modules to help the entrepreneurial E-Teams progress through the stages of project development. In addition, E-Teams will work with faculty and advisors from the community, including local business leaders and entrepreneurs. The Picker Program will collaborate with the UMass Five Colleges Entreclub. EDC will offer an E-award to the entrepreneurial team that excels in innovation and entrepreneurship in their project work.
The ability to understand human disease at the molecular and cellular levels has blurred the boundaries between the basic biological and chemical sciences, engineering, and clinical investigation. Because of this, students from a variety of disciplines want to understand medical problems so that they can successfully translate their research into useful clinical outcomes. In response to this educational need, a team of faculty in Biosciences, Medicine, Bioinformatics, Engineering and Education at Stanford University created a new course in 2001, Introduction to Medicine for Graduate Students in Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, and Bioinformatics. The central activity of the course is interdisciplinary team project work. E-Teams composed of three PhD candidates (one each from electrical engineering, management science and engineering, and one NASA-Ames continuing education student from the Stanford Center for Professional Development) identify an unsolved problem in diabetes and conceptualize a novel solution. Teams develop and present concept papers.
This project supports development of an extension course, Applications of Bioengineering, Bioinformatics and Basic Biological Science to Current Problems in Diabetes. The Applications course will enable E-Teams from the introductory course to further develop their project concepts and obtain preliminary results on their solutions and/or develop early prototypes of medical devices
In 1967, the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Virginia teamed to form one of the first Departments of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the country. Over the past thirty-five years, the department has focused on graduate education, developing strong doctoral and masters programs while carrying out world class research. In 2000, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) added a BME minor to supplement existing traditional majors. This venture met with success, and has led to the development of a BME major within SEAS. In fall 2002, the principal investigator obtained preliminary approval for the BME major curriculum.
The first course of the BME major is Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Design and Discovery. First offered in fall 2002, the course provides students with theoretical and practical design experience, an overview of issues relating to entrepreneurship in BME, and an introduction to the discipline. Within the first few weeks of class, students identify problems in the field of BME that they wish to address through their semester long design project. They then form design teams based on interest and backgrounds. The major student effort in the class is toward E-Team development of a novel device, method, program, or experiment. Whenever possible, teams develop prototypes to prove design feasibility. The second segment of the class focuses on tackling the issues involved in developing a new product in BME. The course covers basic management tools including Gantt charts, critical path diagrams, and criteria for team selection. Students attend lectures on intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and regulatory issues. The third segment of the class serves as an introduction to the BME discipline. At the end of the course, E-Teams present their final projects to a group of faculty and local entrepreneurs. This grant provides E-Team seed money, student team travel, speaker honoraria, equipment, tools, and a stereo microscope