This grant supports development of a three-part (spring-summer-fall) undergraduate experiential learning curriculum that is part of a larger initiative with corporate partners that comprehensively addresses developing world needs. In the spring, students from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design will form into teams and learn ethnographic observation techniques that will develop their skill in uncovering needs and understanding situational constraints in developing regions. In the summer, they will take ten-week trips to the regions themselves, doing more observation and problem-finding. In the fall, they will create new solutions to problems they encountered. The PI is partnering with IBM to provide platform technologies and other resources that could be adapted to developing world needs.
The students will focus on four themes: healthcare in rural Africa; water in India; communication trends in developing countries; and commerce in informal settlements in Africa.
Despite isolated successes at University of Detroit Mercy in producing creative devices that benefit individuals with disabilities, there remains great opportunity on campus to utilize student creativity in helping the underserved in society. In particular, there is substantial unmet need for assistive technologies.
This grant will help to transform the UDM capstone process from generating isolated successes into an effective conduit for new assistive technologies to reach the marketplace. Three objectives will be accomplished through this grant: integrating healthcare professional input and control into the capstone design course; guiding students to develop products for use by the disabled populace; and encouraging and supporting students to formulate E-Teams to commercialize their designs.
By the end of the capstone course, students will have a road map to pursue commercialization of their designs, with the ultimate goals of effectively meeting the needs of disabled people and enhancing student learning.
There is an existing multidisciplinary course at Clemson University in which students analyze energy and carbon dioxide emissions on global and local scales. Students evaluate both demand-side (more efficient buildings and transportation) and supply-side (solar and wind) strategies for reducing emissions. The course deliverable requires students, working in an E-Team format with faculty and industry professionals, to develop and evaluate innovations contributing to carbon neutrality for the Clemson campus.
This grant will enable Clemson to offer further support to teams at the end of the course each year. At the end of the course, E-Teams will be selected to receive prototyping and consulting support, allowing them to pilot-test their innovations and evaluate scalability through a network of over 675 colleges and universities committed to carbon neutrality. This program will also result in a guide for the other 675 institutions, shared on a central website, which will help produce similar courses and E-Teams nationwide.
This grant supports the development of a new undergraduate curriculum at Lehigh University that brings together students from the social sciences, business, and engineering to focus on the creation of entrepreneurial enterprises that address the social and economic issues of the working poor and homeless. In the curriculum, interdisciplinary groups of students will follow Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) process to create innovative and sustainable solutions to local community problems.
Specifically, NCIIA funding will support the following objectives: development of a new social entrepreneurship undergraduate curriculum that will conclude with a capstone project; development of a year-long pilot capstone project, “Bethlehem’s South Side Urban Agriculture Enterprise,” that will focus on developing and implementing a business model, social system, and technology infrastructure required to address the needs of that community while establishing a self-sufficient, scalable enterprise; and development of extracurricular social entrepreneurship activities with an initial focus on urban agriculture, including student competitions, guest speakers, and a social entrepreneurship club.
With the Hinman CEOs program and Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), the University of Maryland has a substantial technology entrepreneurship community with a number of resources for early stage ventures and startups. However, there are currently no undergraduate courses at UM that address the marketing of technology products and innovations. At the same time, while Mtech currently serves over 700 students annually through technology entrepreneurship and innovation courses, the overall rate of venture creation is less than desired.
This grant supports development of a new course, “Marketing High-Technology Products and Innovations,” proposed as a part of the required Hinman CEOs curriculum and to be offered to all students throughout campus. This course will merge the academic side of learning marketing concepts with their applications in real life.
The Norwich University campus, situated in northern New England, comprises a wide variety of structures from LEED-certified to “antique,” and is in many ways indicative of the building stock of its community. In order to create a sustainable campus, faculty and students from the Center for the Integrated Study of the Built Environment will team with the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and an environmental entrepreneur to evaluate campus buildings and develop entrepreneurial solutions to issues identified in the process.
Specifically, this grant will help create and pilot an interdisciplinary, two-semester, entrepreneurial “green building” program involving E-Teams comprising seniors in business, architecture, engineering, and construction management. The teams will employ Building Information Modeling to create a virtual model of structure on campus, perform energy modeling on it, and develop green solutions to problems they encounter and devise commercialization strategies for them.
Epidemics of recent emerging infectious diseases, such as the H1N1 pandemic, demand cost-efficient and scalable production technologies that can rapidly deliver effective therapeutics to clinics. Traditional vaccine manufacturers have trouble meeting these needs, as their manufacturing processes are slow and not economically scalable. Developing world populations are especially burdened by lack of access to effective and inexpensive therapies.
This team is developing SwiftVax, a plant production platform that produces animal and human vaccines efficiently and affordably. The technology can rapidly produce large amounts of therapeutics with minimal investment compared to traditional vaccine production infrastructure.
This grant will help in developing a proof-of-concept that will bring SwiftVax-produced vaccines closer to market. The team’s initial target product is an animal vaccine for Newcastle Disease, a devastating and highly pathogenic disease in poultry. The disease threatens commercial poultry in developed countries as well as the livelihood of disadvantaged populations in Africa, to whom chickens represent the main source of food and income.
Shikimic acid is an essential component in the manufacture of the anti-pandemic influenza drug Tamiflu and a valuable precursor in many other chemical syntheses. However, the low availability and high cost of shikimic acid limits the global ability to either stockpile or ramp up Tamiflu production in a pandemic emergency.
The Marlee Tech team is seeking to cost-effectively supply shikimic acid from a renewable wheat source using an environmentally benign bio-enhancement process. The proprietary method involves a chemical treatment process to induce the plant into producing very high levels of shikimic acid that can then be readily extracted in economic quantities.
The team won the 2009 OSU business plan competition and incorporated as Marlee Tech, Inc. The company is now looking to demonstrate technological feasibility and scalability and secure IP to move toward commercialization.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2010 - $8,800
The high-impact nature of running can lead to shin splints, hamstring pulls, twisted ankles, IT Band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, stress fractures, and the infamous "runner's knee." Studies indicate that maintaining a good posture while running can virtually eliminate most of these injuries. Elite athletes go to biomechanics specialists for gait analysis in order to improve posture, but this is far too expensive and impractical for most people.
This team is developing the Runner Pro, a portable, easy to use, and affordable device that continuously measures the impact forces experienced by runners during their course of activity. The device will measure the impact forces at numerous locations under the foot (below the toes, balls of the feet, mid-foot and heel) in real-time, collecting hundreds of samples of data every second and providing useful feedback to the user on improving posture and gait.
The team envisions Runner Pro being of benefit to runners, walkers, athletes, people suffering from arthritis, and laborers.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) of the deep veins is a disease in which patients suffer from poor circulation in their lower extremities due to non-functional valves. Over the long-term this condition can lead to varicose veins, skin discoloration, leg pain and debilitating leg ulcers. Currently, severe symptoms due to CVI develop in over six million Americans annually; this number is expected to rise as the population ages and obesity becomes more prevalent.
The typical treatment for CVI—a combination of compression stockings and wound care—has extremely poor compliance rates. Open surgical valve repair is rarely used because of its highly invasive nature.
This team is developing a minimally invasive, catheter-based solution for deep vein CVI. The catheter is inserted into the patient’s venous system and advanced to the incompetent vein, where the physician then actuates the catheter to form a version of a natural vein valve. Once the valve is created, blood flows upward freely past the new valve, and at the end of the pumping cycle, blood fills the newly created sinus pocket, causing the flap to close against the vein wall and creating a temporary watertight seal. In this way, vein competency is permanently restored without the need for an implant or invasive surgery.