Author: Ed Morrison

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UW-Milwaukee’s Growing Innovation Ecosystem

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Innovation Accelerator in Wauwatosa opened in 2014. The university nearly doubled its research expenditures between the 2003-’04 academic year and 2009-’10.

Here’s a good background article on how the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been moving steadily into the top tier of research universities and building a stronger ecosystem along the way.

Read more.

As one of the first 12 Pathways schools, UW-M has relied on agile strategy to build momentum. Ilya Avdeev and Nathaniel Stern have been leading the Pathways effort.

It’s no surprise that agile strategy has taken hold in Milwaukee. Before Pathways, we worked with Sammis White to use Strategic Doing to launch the Water Council.

Ilya has become such an effective advocate for agile strategy, that we feature him in our presentations to other schools.
Ilya has become such an effective advocate for agile strategy, that we feature him in our presentations to other schools.

Design Thinking for 21st Century Teams

How might we explore new ways of working together, and leverage design thinking to reimagine the 21st century work environment?

That’s the question explored in a presentation recently at the University of Washington’s department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. The presenter, Ben Grossman-Kahn, was an early member of the Nordstrom Innovation lab, Director of the Nordstrom People Lab where he founded Nordstrom’s Innovation Bootcamp program, and Co-Founder of the Seattle Design Thinking and Innovation Collective.

His talk is about 50 minutes. You can access it here.

Why is this important? Because organizations are reorganizing around teams. New research from Deloitte underscores the emerging role of teams in organizations.

Here’s how Deloitte summarizes the trends in a short video.

Venture Competition at UTEP

The 3rd annual Paso Del Norte Venture Competition + Expo (PDNVC+E) is taking place today. PDNVC+E 2016 is hosted and sponsored by UTEP through the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce, a research center that sponsors, conducts and promotes three main avenues of research: research in innovation and commerce, research for commercialization of innovation, and research in entrepreneurship education.

You can visit the competition’s web site here. Here’s a video from the 2015 competition.

The competition is tied into The Mine, the student incubator at UTEP.

North Dakota State’s Innovation Challenge

NDSU Research and Technology Park runs an Innovation Challenge, and it’s in its seventh year. You can see how the challenge is presented on their web site here. Here are a couple of videos that introduce the competition.

The videos feature Jeff Stamp, assistant professor and chair, Entrepreneurship Program at UND College of Business and Public Administration. You can contact Jeff here: (701) 777-3701,

A good article on this year’s competition highlights how innovations in ag technology can move into industry: replacing petroleum-based polymeric materials with bio-based nanocomposites.

Read more here.

ASU joins the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network

The Kern Family Foundation has awarded Arizona State University a $2.86 million grant to promote an entrepreneurial mindset among engineering faculty. The ASU initiative is designed to create a standard for training engineering faculty and to develop a model program within a public research university.

ASU becomes the first public university to join the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).  Ann McKenna, director of ASU’s Polytechnic School is the principal investigator on the project.

Learn more here.

UAB’s new Maker Space

Four Pathways Innovation Fellows at the University of Alabama-Birmingham moved the university forward in launching a new student-run Maker Space on campus.

Faculty advisors Molly Wasko and Alan Eberhardt with University Innovation Fellows (left to right) Murray Ladner, Rohit Borah, Forrest Satterfield and John Shelley.

You can read more here.

To learn more, contact the faculty advisors, Molly Wasko from the UAB School of Business or Alan Eberhart from the School of Engineering.

UVA Engineering: Connecting students to companies

How do companies survive when engineering education is not nearby? Places like Lynchburg, VA?

UVA Engineering has come up with an answer.

Their initiative enables students in Virginia to earn an Associate of Science in Engineering degree from their local community college and then a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from UVA.

Companies provide apprenticeships to these students in what amounts to an engineering scholarship program. The students take courses on-line. Local companies pay tuition and offer paid internships for two years, with the eventual goal to hire the college student after graduation. Read more here.

More details from UVA Engineering here.

What’s happening at the University of Toronto

The Ontario government has invested $15 million in a new Centre for Engineering innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto. This investment adds to the $26 million that the university has raised for the Centre. That includes $1 million raised from students the University of Toronto Engineering Society. Read more from the University here.

Learn more about the Centre, including a video and a floor by floor tour, here.

Pitt Adds a New Innovation Competition

The University of Pittsburgh has launched a new student entrepreneurship competition with $18,000 in prizes. The Kuzneski Innovation Cup, funded by Laurie and Andy Kuzneski, will run through the Pitt Innovation Institute. The Kuzneskis are serial entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh.

The Innovation Cup is a student pitch competition that includes $10,000 dollars for the first prize, $5000 dollars for the second and $3000 for third. You can get detailed rules here.