By Bill Stephan, Indiana University Vice President for Engagement
In his 2007 inaugural address, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie introduced Innovate Indiana as the university’s newest economic development initiative.
“It will consolidate all of the university’s economic development activities and in turn provide a single point of contact for our partners,” he said. “It will invest in and coordinate IU’s economic development activities across the state.”
Innovate Indiana addresses two key elements of the IU Bicentennial Strategic Plan: excellence in engagement and economic development, and building a prosperous and innovative Indiana. The Office of the Vice President for Engagement serves as the steward of the Innovate Indiana brand as it engages strategic partners, connects IU resources and advances Indiana’s economy.
Innovate Indiana and research, innovations and entrepreneurship
The IU Research and Technology Corp. was organized to facilitate the commercialization of technology emanating from research conducted at the university. Among its tasks are helping entrepreneurial faculty develop startup companies, enhancing and offering funding opportunities, and building relationships with public- and private-sector partners to provide talent and space.
IURTC was established as the IU Advanced Research and Technology Institute in 1997. Renamed in 2004, IURTC has filed more than 4,600 global patent applications and received almost 1,200 global patents. It has generated and distributed more than $142 million in licensing and related income to researchers, laboratories and departments.
Innovate Indiana supports entrepreneurship also by sponsoring Startup Weekend and the B-Start Pre-Accelerator Program. During Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event, teams of innovators and entrepreneurs pitch ideas for new companies and develop a working prototype. B-Start is designed to give Bloomington inventors the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of building a business through one-on-one meeting with community members. Additionally, IURTC’s SpinUp program helps launch companies founded upon IU intellectual property by supporting federal grant proposals and assisting with corporate documents.
Innovate Indiana and economic development
Innovate Indiana impacts statewide economic development through CREED, or the Council on Regional Engagement and Economic Development. The council includes representatives from each IU campus, directly appointed by campus chancellors. It identifies how the university can bring its resources and expertise to promote and enhance statewide economic development efforts.
CREED manages the IU Regional Economic Development Fund; 32 grants have awarded $60,000 to enable campus economic development initiatives. It provides an enduring forum during which regional economic issues are addressed, which fosters greater communication and enhances connectivity of IU campuses and their communities.
Innovate Indiana and the Office of the Vice President for Engagement also represent the university’s international interests and the state’s economic interests through multiple overseas assignments to China, India, Israel, Japan, Niger, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. (more…)