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    October 2009

    Technology and Innovation Development

    ECU Innovators Design Academy Debuts in New Innovation Design Lab

    Image-ECU Tech Transfer_2.jpg

    Thirteen faculty, staff and students have completed the inaugural session of the Innovators Design Academy, a program of  East Carolina University’s Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development (OEIED). Participants committed to building a campus-wide culture of innovation attended the eight-week program over the summer to learn how to effectively communicate innovation design ideas for practical application in the marketplace.

    The participants learned practical sketching techniques, 2-D and 3-D digital imaging essentials, physical model building strategies and presentation skills in an evolutionary curriculum that was devised and taught by Dr. Percy Hooper, Director of the Industrial Design Graduate Program at the NCSU’s College of Design. In addition to teaching students to solve problems in innovative ways, valuable communication skills were honed and product ideas were presented to a panel of advisors. This inaugural Innovators Design Academy clearly demonstrated and documented that innovation skills can be taught and deployed to build a campus wide culture of innovation. 

    An advantage of the Academy was its use of techniques taught in industrial design studios, yet condensed into a short-term curriculum of presentation essentials and shortcuts, culminating in communication of ideas and innovations to a diverse audience through a variety of media. Participants in multi-disciplinary teams gained hands-on experience applying these skills to actual innovation projects. They utilized ECU’s new Innovation Design Lab (IDL), a technology-facilitated environment designed to translate across academic disciplines, industries, public agencies and the marketplace to enhance innovation for new products, processes and public policies.

    A companion facility to the IDL will be located at NC State University’s College of Design. Both will be fully connected via networked computing, video and voice communication systems. Together the Innovators Design Academy and the Innovation Design Lab network the diverse resources of East Carolina University and NC State to support innovation, new product development, manufacturing, and ultimately economic transformation for eastern North Carolina.


    For further information, please contact:

    Marti Van Scott

    Director, Office of Technology Transfer

    East Carolina University

     (252) 328-9545 (p)