The Institute is offering myriad programs focused on supporting the faculty of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering in their research, education, and outreach missions:
Proposal and Program Support – As the nation and state focus more attention on academic innovation programs leading to economic impact, the Engineering Innovation Institute serves the faculty by actively exploring and coordinating innovation funding opportunities in research and education programs. The Institute serves the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering faculty and students in preparing research and education proposals to federal, state, and private sector partners and funding agencies. Specifically, the Institute provides proposal preparation assistance by integrating strong and diverse innovation, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and leadership education programs into reseach and education program proposals. Additionally, the Institue provides on-going support to active research and education project and center innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization programs.
Faculty Innovation Council – The Engineering Innovation Institute has established a Faculty Innovation Council to work with the Institute leadership to increase faculty conversation and competency in entrepreneurship and innovation. Specifically, the Faculty Innovation Council is established to discuss UF, state and national rules, regulations, and processes relevant to faculty and students who wish to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and how to optimize the process; Bring entrepreneurial faculty thought leaders together to discuss key issues; Discuss how to properly evaluate and reward entrepreneurial activity in the course of faculty advancement; Provide peer mentoring and guidance to get faculty to think and act entrepreneurially; Act as a sounding board for new innovation initiatives; and Lead seminars and provide one-on-one guidance to other faculty in innovation topics.
Funding Opportunities – The Engineering Innovation Institute monitors new programs in the private, government, or academic sectors focused on innovation, commercializaton, and early stage translational research funding. These programs can provide faculty with funding support to start to transition the “Valley of Death” between early stage research and commercialization. The Institute also provides assistance to faculty in proposal preparation and maintains contacts in the entrepreneurial and investment communities that can partner on proposals.
Innovation Library – The Institute has designed its curricular offerings in a modular fashion such that individual elements can be offered to College faculty for seamless integration into their core curriculum. Many core engineering courses are requiring that students work in innovative team environments and the Institute has established an Innovation Library of resources (lecture materials, experts, case studies, etc.) that can be delivered by outside experts or the faculty themselves.
Entrepreneur in Residence – The Institute has developed a program to bring successful engineering entrepreneurs to campus to work with our faculty and students on an extended and in-depth basis. The Entrepreneur in Residence interfaces regularly with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in guiding the development of student and faculty-generated market studies and business plans for myriad technologies under development and providing instruction and real world exercises in the College innovation curriculum. Additionally, this experienced entrepreneur has the opportunity to assess and guide high potential engineering technologies for commercialization.
Innovation Reviews – The Institute has developed a research program commercial assessment review and presentation protocol to provide for an early assessment of the commercial potential of myriad research projects and programs for the College’s Centers, Institutes, Departments and Schools. The process includes an assessment of the technology as the basis for product/service solutions, the foundational value of user benefits, the competitive environment, R&D still required and time to market, Intellectual property position, market potential, the technical and business experience available and needed, key partners, fundraising strategies and needs, etc. The Institute is working with faculty to vet technologies for commercial potential and arrange for a schedule of recurring Innovation Reviews for key research programs. Interested faculty should contact Erik Sander for further details.