The Office of Technology Development is piloting a technology scouting program called ifx. The program is designed to match industry scouts with cross-disciplinary teams of graduate students that source solutions to problem statements posed by industry. It will be a student-led, extracurricular activity designed to provide students with experiential learning in problem solving, solution searching, and innovation.
Technology scouts have a daunting task of searching the world for new discoveries in order to fill gaps in their companies’ product pipeline. This is a labor intensive activity and most scouts do not have the bandwidth to cover a broad technology space over a large geographic area. At the same time, many graduate students are looking for experience working with industry. As part of an academic institution they have unique access to a wealth of research activity. It is a perfect match to help streamline academic-industry relations.
The components of the program are simple. Industry scouts, entrepreneurs, disease specific foundations, etc. are invited to submit problem statements to OTD. Student teams will be organized and matched with problem statements. Working through a mentored process, the teams refine the problem statement, search for possible solutions, and present their findings back to the sponsor. Student team recommendations will be based on criteria supplied by the sponsor such as time-to-market, feasibility, costs, etc.
For more information and to apply to the program please visit our website.