The Chancellor’s Student Innovation Team is focusing on creating a “student innovation hub,” on the bottom floor of the Student Union, where students can meet to formulate ideas and seek assistance from faculty members and mentors, said Shruti Shah, chairwoman of the team.
Team member Andrew Lu said student fees will likely fund the hub. He added that funds from preexisting projects will not be diverted, but if projects share similar goals, they will fall under the umbrella of the Innovate@Carolina initiative.
The faculty committee is looking for ways to improve the education system for innovation, said committee member Judith Cone, who also serves as special assistant to the chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Other initiatives include the expansion of the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program, establishing a Carolina Innovation Fund and creating new professorships.
Cone said the project will move from the strategizing stage to the implementation stage after University Day.
Cone and Shah said they sought students with diverse backgrounds who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation to take part in the project.
“We want a cross-pollination of ideas,” Cone said.
Officials say several of the stated goals and plans of Innovate@Carolina are similar to those likely to be in the new academic plan, a draft of which will be released in about four weeks.
At the academic plan steering committee’s Friday meeting, committee member and public policy professor Maryann Feldman expressed concern that releasing the two projects at the same time might distract from the more policy-orientated academic plan.
Cone and Bill Andrews, co-chairman of the academic plan steering committee, said the two plans are meant to work together, rather than serve as rivals.
“We are trying to make sure people understand that the academic plan and road map complement each other,” Cone said.
“Innovation is about looking at the status of what exists right now and asking how to make that status better,” she added. “Everyone has a role in innovation.”
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