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Boise State awarded $1M, recognized as Innovation Corps Desert and Pacific Hub member

students and faculty working in the hub
The College of Innovation and Design prepares students for work with a new model for higher education

Boise State is now recognized as a member of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) Desert and Pacific Region Hub, and receives an award of $1,067,000. As an I-Corps member, the university will collaborate with R1– or “very high research activity”– institutions to accelerate innovations that benefit the region and society.

NSF I-Corps Hubs provide experiential entrepreneurial training to academic researchers and graduate/postdocs across all fields of science and engineering, and help them translate fundamental research results to the marketplace. The I-Corps Hubs work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the U.S.

“Being an NSF I-Corps Hub member is an incredible opportunity to prepare faculty members to translate their research from ‘bench to the bedside,’” said Brett Adkins, director of the Office of Technology Transfer at Boise State.

The College of Business and Economics and the College of Innovation and Design will play critical roles in this mission.

The College of Innovation and Design will facilitate entrepreneurial training for the teams by delivering the I-Corps lean startup methodology training, as well as short-courses and lean entrepreneurial lecture series. The College of Business and Economics will advance research topics relevant to the national innovation ecosystem that can illuminate national trends, influence both organizational and national policy, and inform I-Corps program practices.

Research will explore the entrepreneurial mindset, innovation, curricular adaptations and organizational and infrastructure support, including scaling distributed mentor models and co-opting and utilizing innovative tools. Potential research topics also include studying the effectiveness of online learning modalities and their impact on the success of Deep Technology Ventures (scientific and engineering innovations that disrupt and spur the creation of future technologies).

Boise State’s goal is to place 10 research teams from across Idaho higher education institutions in these trainings per year. These collaborative teams will learn essential skills in marketing, entrepreneurship, business plan modeling and development, and more. This process will bolster the region’s ability to commercialize innovative solutions and technologies, and will further Boise State’s economic impact on the region and Idaho. Additionally, Boise State faculty will have ample opportunities to innovate in collaboration with experts at fellow universities within the hub.

Boise State now joins the following institutions as part of the NSF I-Corps Desert and Pacific Region Hub:

  • Arizona State University (lead)
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Established in 2011, the I-Corps program is designed to support the commercialization of deep technologies, which grow from discoveries in fundamental science and engineering. Since its inception, approximately 2,800 NSF I-Corps teams have participated in the program.

Learn more about the hub’s expansion here.