Description: Brigham Young University has been awarded by the National Science Foundation to be an I-Corps Site that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship of students and faculty members.
Start: March 1, 2015
End: February 28, 2018
- Sponsor: National Science Foundation
- Principal Investigator: Stephen Liddle
- Co-PI: Tom Sederberg
- Website: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/i-corps/sites.jsp
Begun in 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created the Innovation Corps Program (I-Corps), a national project to encourage emerging technological advances and commercialization of innovation. It is a link between new ideas and getting them out into the marketplace. This program was started by the NSF in hopes of building an environment across the United States which helps scientific research develop into actual products and ideas. The I-Corps Program serves as a bridge between what is being done in the laboratory and what is produced in the technological market today. It consists of well-organized I-Corps teams, training, and curriculum to help researchers take the next step in entrepreneurship and get their innovations into commercialized products and methods to be used in our communities. The I-Corps program specifically helps research teams by providing resources, mentoring, and pathways to support project teams through their process from scientific discovery to commercialization. I-Corps teams that receive funding from the NSF will receive guidance on whether their innovations will, in reality, have potential to benefit society’s needs and further technology.
I-Corps Sites is a facet of the program that allows universities and other academic institutions to create their own entrepreneurial environment patterned after the national I-Corps program. These localized Sites are ideal places where research ideas surface and where teams of students and faculty members can show candidacy for becoming part of the larger I-Corps Teams program. Brigham Young University has been awarded the opportunity to be an I-Corps Site, and now has the occasion and responsibility to foster entrepreneurship among its own students and faculty.
I-Corps teams are uniquely structured to include expertise in research and entrepreneurial advancement. Most teams have three significant players: the principal investigator, who is the manager for the project, an academic researcher or student that provides knowledge and background of research in field of innovation, and lastly, a mentor who helps lead the team by taking the idea from its scientific state into a commercialized product or method to be used in society. At the I-Corps Sites, teams are patterned after this design, with an emphasis in allowing students to become forerunners in the team and involved in the innovation process.
To work alongside the I-Corps Sites program, BYU already has two institutions that encourage entrepreneurship and commercialized technology. With the help of the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) and the Technology Transfer Office (TTO), the I-Corps Sites program will become a distinctive chance for both faculty and students who are pushing and expanding their innovations. BYU will also focus on including underrepresented groups, including women and other groups, in participating in teams of the I-Corps Sites program.
At the BYU I-Corps Sites, about 30 teams of students and faculty members will have exceptional opportunities to be key components in the commercialization process. These students will gain a rare experience in true entrepreneurship during their time at BYU. This opportunity not only furthers the innovational network that the NSF envisions for society, but will also lead these students into the entrepreneurial world and give them rare experiences.