Epicenter/PA: Piloting a Regional Epicenter Cluster

Epicenter’s goal is to "unleash the entrepreneurial potential of undergraduate engineering students across the United States to create bold innovators with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to contribute to economic and societal prosperity.” This nationwide change in engineering students must be supported by a nationwide change in engineering faculty’s views on entrepreneurship and innovation. As stated by Dr. Subra Suresh, NSF Director at the Nov. 8 University Innovation Summit: “Innovation is a contact sport.” The goal of this proposed project is create contact by running a pilot regional Epicenter meeting, where faculty from engineering programs from across Pennsylvania gather to network, collaborate, and determine definitive projects to bolster the Epicenter mission.

To date, the following eleven institutions have said they plan to participate in this project: Bucknell, CMU, Lehigh, Penn State Altoona, Penn State Berks, Penn State University Park, Penn, Pitt, Temple, Villanova, and Widener. The following three schools will also be recruited: Drexel, Lafayette and Penn State Behrend (Erie).

In this list of 14 schools, only five had representatives at the Epicenter Retreat, so the Epicenter/PA pilot project will reach 9 new schools. The 7month Epicenter/PA project will gather needs-information from each of the 14 PA schools between Dec. 2012 and Feb. 2013 and report out at the 2013 OPEN conference. Because of its central location in the state, Penn State University Park will host the Epicenter/PA Meeting in May 2013. A report from the meeting will be submitted by June 30, 2013.

Project Members:

Elizabeth Kisenwether, Penn State University Park

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