On March 20, Jim Woodell, assistant vice president for innovation and technology policy at the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU), and Jared Avery, associate director for the Office of Access and Success at APLU, gave an ignite presentation at the 2015 VentureWell Open Conference in Washington, DC. The conference was an intensive two-day event for practitioners of technology entrepreneurship in higher education.
Woodell and Avery engaged participants through a 15-slide, five-minute presentation as part of a “meet-up” session on “Creating Impact in Engineering Education.”
The presentation served as a discussion-starter for the broader conversation related to institutional change in engineering for attendees.
Woodell said of the experience, “It was a great way to provide the attendees with an opportunity to learn more about APLU’s support for innovation and entrepreneurship. The conversation that followed—about how programs like ours can serve as platforms for institutional change—was even more lively.”
“Innovation has always been a part of our national history,” said Avery. “I believe that our public and land-grant institutions, especially our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will have a significant role in moving the ideas of their students forward and in providing for the needs of today.”
Both Woodell and Avery spoke about APLU’S role in supporting innovation and commercialization efforts among its member institutions during the session, highlighting APLU’s Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities program, and the association’s HBCU Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship Collaborative.
Following the presentation, audience members were given an opportunity to join informal table talk with peers interested in promoting institutional change related to innovation, entrepreneurship, and engineering education. Discussions included topics such as university leadership, academic culture, and university-led innovation and entrepreneurship activities. Representatives from the Epicenter: Pathways to Innovation program and the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) joined Woodell and Avery.