In January 2014, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Office for Access and Success, APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), VentureWell (formerly NCIIA), the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) announced the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative (or HBCU Collaborative).
The HBCU Collaborative is a cohort of 15 public and private HBCUs that are committed to participating in a multi-year collaboration that will foster innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship on their respective campuses to improve student success by implementing new institutional courses, transforming faculty pedagogy and creating partnerships with government and private industries. This collaborative will build off the momentum that was established by the 2013 HBCU Innovation Summit held at Stanford University that was co-organized by UNCF, the NSF-funded National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) and the Stanford Center for Professional Development.
Through the generous support of the Lemelson Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and the Monsanto Corporation, the HBCU Collaborative made funds available to universities to participate in and undertake the following activities:
Institutions selected for the HBCU Collaborative are participating in a community seeking to increase innovation and entrepreneurship across disciplines (i.e., agriculture, business, science, mathematics, engineering and technology, etc.). The collaborative aims to build innovation ecosystems— among institutions; between administrators, faculty and students within institutions; and across institutions, the federal government and private industry. Participating in this unique collaborative makes funds available to universities to begin the planning and design efforts required to build this ecosystem work.
This initiative is funded by both the Lemelson Foundation and the Lumina Foundation.