Public Release: 

Universities drive innovation in the classroom

Special issue highlights international efforts to promote innovation outputs through new university courses, curricula, and programs

University of South Florida (USF Innovation)

Tampa, Fla. (Oct. 27, 2017) - Innovation is the lifeblood of productive societies, and universities play a vital role in seeding and growing innovations. The current issue of Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors ® (19.2) (full text) examines innovation from the university perspective, highlighting what the most innovative institutions and educators worldwide are doing to prepare future engineers and industry leaders to effectively manage IP to grow their companies and the global economy as a whole.

"For the first time, academic scholarship and curricular issues of epistemology and pedagogy are packaged and aligned in a manner that facilitates broad adoption of IP- related course content in multiple schools of the academy," notes guest editor James G. Conley. "The authors in this issue have paved the road to broader adoption of IP as an academic subject, course, curriculum, and organizing paradigm."


Historical Knowledge Foundations

  • Klaus Brockhoff reviews the history of technology and innovation management (TIM), tracing its development from an eclectic assortment of thoughts on R&D to a coherent and organized study of virtually every aspect of the innovation/invention enterprise.
  • Holger Ernst argues that the increasing importance of IP for companies to secure a competitive advantage has led to the establishment of IP as a new management discipline and motivated leading universities to incorporate classes in IP management into their curricula to better prepare students for the brave new world of TIM.

Using Intellectual Property to Spark Innovation in the Classroom

  • Taking up the question of how universities can provide better training for engineers, Rudi Bekkers and Gunter Bombaerts conclude that educational programs for engineers must prepare them not only in technical proficiencies but also in the social and ethical dimensions of their work.
  • Given the centrality of the patent system to the economic growth of the U.S., Charles A. Garris Jr. and Charles A. Garris III drill down on the importance of incorporating knowledge of the patent system in the engineering curriculum, arguing that it should be an integral part of the education of every engineer.
  • Starting from the belief that law, technology, society, and business are all interconnected, David Orozco of the Florida State College of Business discusses the ten-year evolution of a successful multidisciplinary course on IP and business strategy that he has taught at four different academic institutions.

Making Business Studies Research Make a Difference in Practice

  • Magnus Gustafsson and Anastasia Tsvetkova describe a system for efficient knowledge transfer from academia to business. Using case studies, they demonstrate how social science research can produce actionable knowledge for businesses, allowing technology transfer efforts to be more successful.

National Academy of Inventors Spotlights Innovation

  • Philippa Olsen moves the invention education discussion to the K-12 arena, discussing the USPTO's 4th Annual National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property, which brought teachers from across the nation together to teach them how to incorporate concepts of making, inventing, and innovation into classroom instruction.
  • In the NAI Fellow Profile, acclaimed inventor and research scientist Dr. Esther Takeuchi offers penetrating insights on the critical challenges we face in energy consumption, discusses what makes a great innovator, and shares what it means to have been responsible for saving millions of lives as a result of her research work.
  • In the Innovation in Action feature, researchers from Texas Tech share their new tech developments. Siva A. Vanapalli has developed an improved and cost-effective method for conducting assays, one that overcomes current limitations on high-throughput screening. Beibei Ren has developed a robust droop control for parallel operated inverters to facilitate grid modernization with significant penetration of renewables.


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