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  • Changing the World, One Robot at a Time

    Humanoid robots to the rescue.

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  • Societal Impact: Form Follows Function

    A new state-of-the-art computerized knitting laboratory is helping assistant professor and fashion design program director Genevieve Dion develop smart garments—clothing made of fabric embedded with technology.

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  • Societal Impact: Brain Power

    Drexel’s Human Cognition Enhancement Program is breaking down departmental barriers to generate groundbreaking, comprehensive cognitive and behavioral research.

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Societal Impact

Drexel is a powerful engine for economic growth and societal impact. Building on a rich history of entrepreneurship, innovation, and civic engagement, the University is creating a vibrant innovation neighborhood in University City, uniting leading education and research institutions and the private sector in what promises to be one of the most productive centers of innovation, technology, internationalization, and economic development in the northeast corridor of the United States. 

Our faculty, staff, and students are also engaged in urban revitalization and economic development efforts throughout the region and around the world. Together they are drawing on knowledge generated in their research and creative activities to develop solutions to social challenges, and to create and incubate new for-profit, cultural, and service organizations. By so doing, the University assures that the findings and methods of research and education are effectively communicated and applied in a broader context to benefit humankind.

Technology Commercialization

In the last decade, Drexel’s technology commercialization activities and the size and diversity of its intellectual property (IP) portfolio have grown significantly. Beginning in 2010, the University has ranked in the top 20 nationally for the number of inventions disclosed per dollar of federal research funding received. Drexel's current patent portfolio includes more than 200 issued patents, and the University has more than 400 additional technologies at various stages of patent prosecution.  In recent years, Drexel inventors have enabled the creation of three or four new ventures annually.  The University’s Office of Technology Commercialization manages Drexel’s invention disclosure and patenting process, markets and licenses University-owned IP, and provides advice and guidance to new ventures. 

For more information on Drexel technologies, or the University’s technology commercialization process, visit the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Civic Engagement

Drexel aspires to be the most civically engaged university in the country.  

  • The Math Forum@Drexel is a nationally renowned online center for mathematics and mathematics education, bringing together teachers, mathematicians, researchers, students, and parents through the power of the Internet to learn math and improve math education. The Math Forum provides a wealth of problems and puzzles; online mentoring; research; team problem solving; collaborations; and professional development. Support for mathematics education reform and improvement takes place through a 'bottom-up' approach in which insights, technologies, research outcomes, and national standards are infused into our projects and services. The Math Forum provides resources, materials, activities, person-to-person interactions, and educational products and services that enrich and support mathematics teaching and learning in our increasingly knowledge-intensive world.  Our online community includes teachers, students, researchers, parents, educators, and citizens at all levels committed to improving math literacy in the US and around the world.
  • The 11th Street Clinic provides quality, comprehensive health services to the clients it serves, with special attention to vulnerable populations and residents of public housing units in Philadelphia’s 11th Street Corridor.  11th Street provides an exemplary model of nurse-managed, community-based care for the education of health professions students and for faculty practice. Today, 11th Street uses a trans-disciplinary approach to deliver primary care, behavioral health, dental services, and health and wellness programs to more than 2,500 adult patients annually.  In recent years, the 11th Street Health Center successfully established its Healthy Living Center program, reducing risk factors for disease and helping patients better manage existing conditions. Diabetes education, self-efficacy programs, nutrition education, fitness, cooking classes, and behavioral health group support are the core program elements of the Healthy Living Center.  The Center also provides a venue for the preparation of nurses and other health professionals in culturally competent, community-based care. 
  • The Center for Hunger-Free Communities was established inspired by a vision that children born today and tomorrow will inherit a nation free from hunger; a nation where all members of the community partner to keep families economically secure; and where all people have an equal voice in policies that affect their lives. The Center has focused on addressing child hunger through research, advocacy, and direct clinical care. The GROW Clinic, which began in 2005, provides comprehensive care to children struggling with proper weight gain and sees hundreds of Philadelphia children every year. Through its research with Children’s HealthWatch, the Center became nationally recognized for its expertise in child food insecurity.   In 2008, the Center added the participatory research project, Witnesses to Hunger, to ensure that low-income mothers are included in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty. 
  • weServe, a program initiated by students in Drexel's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge to the immediate benefit of patients or communities. Within the greater Philadelphia region, our students and faculty serve underrepresented and underserved communities and populations with special needs through partnerships with, for example, Inglis House and Foundation, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Center, Ronald McDonald House, and the Moss Rehabilitation Hospital. Taking our work further afield, the weServe Africa program provides students with an opportunity to work alongside local technicians in Gambia and Mozambique, installing and restoring biomedical equipment while promoting proper ongoing maintenance.