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Create an Innovation Nexus for Research, Technology Transfer, and Economic Development

Students showing off innovation

Drexel faculty and students will help address global problems through engagement in experiential education, pioneering research, and mentored creative and scholarly work that achieves real-world application and impact through technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. Drexel University will:

  • Continue to build a strong foundation in basic and translational research by investing in current faculty members, recruiting new faculty members (individually and in clusters), increasing the number of doctoral students, and providing funding, robust support services, and adequate space to promote the most innovative and collaborative research environments. Drexel will also leverage our Coulter Foundation Endowment as a model for cross-campus translational research partnerships.
  • Promote pioneering scholarly work that forges new approaches to significant long-standing problems, such as Drexel's work in autism that uses public health science to discover, develop, and implement population-focused strategies for preventing or reducing the morbidity and disability associated with autism.
  • Create an Office of Corporate Partnerships that will significantly extend our existing external relationships developed by the Steinbright Career Development Center, the Office of Institutional Advancement, Drexel e-Learning, and the Office of Research. At present, there is no capability within Drexel to manage, in a holistic and strategic way, the relationships we have with leading corporations and to leverage their interests in the same vital opportunities as those of our other external partner organizations, including those in the nonprofit and public sectors. This new office will coordinate a multidisciplinary relationship with the very best of these organizations, and maximize the full potential of these relationships via co-op placements, customized online learning, philanthropy, and project funding for key Drexel initiatives.
  • Establish Drexel Ventures, a new subsidiary of Drexel University, to provide support for faculty, students, alumni, and regional entrepreneurs seeking to start new companies and to foster economic growth and development in the Greater Philadelphia region. Drexel Ventures will be managed as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of the University with an advisory board comprising experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, private equity investors, and technical experts in key fields and professions. Drexel Ventures will provide funding and expertise to manage the invention disclosure process, determine patent and market viability, accelerate translational research, provide entrepreneurial co-ops, support and partner with area incubators and accelerators, provide seed funding to start-up organizations, expedite licensing for small businesses, and facilitate the ability of Drexel faculty to compete for and undertake contract proprietary research.
  • Advance game-changing, multi-disciplinary initiatives, leveraging the comprehensive array of Drexel's academic assets. One innovative example of this strategy is ExCITe —Drexel's planned Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies Center. ExCITe would capitalize on extensive collaboration between Drexel's College of Engineering and the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design with a broad array of educational, commercial, and governmental participants from the Greater Philadelphia region. ExCITe would be a research center providing leadership at the convergence of technology and creative expression which could be located at Philadelphia's Navy Yard, perhaps on the Urban Outfitters campus. ExCITe would focus on developing new instruments and interfaces for content creation and human-centered interaction to foster innovation. ExCITe would seek to build out the intersection of technology and creative expression, broadening the traditional core of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or "STEM," to include the arts, thereby producing "STEAM." Drexel's ExCITe Center would be both a resource hub to transform the Greater Philadelphia region by bringing together the technology and cultural communities to catalyze the local digital creative economy, and a comprehensive partnership among leading academic, cultural, and civic institutions and industry to enhance education and workforce development.