Innovation Design Initiative
The Innovation Design Initiative is concerned with increasing economic development, human independence, and a stronger workforce through programs that specifically foster innovation:
Industrial Design Community Contact
Since 2000, this program has offered design solutions to nonprofit agencies in the community as way to help individuals achieve greater independence. Past clients have included the Arthritis Foundation, the Morehead School for the Blind, the North Carolina Child Health and Safety Department, Springmoor Retirement Home, and the North Carolina Autism Society.
Design Assistance for Entrepreneurs
Design Assistance for Entrepreneurs has helped over a dozen inventors to develop and refine their inventions since 2006.
Middle School Innovators Academy
This program works to cultivate a passion for innovation among middle school students. The program teaches them a design development process, design documentation, and design presentation skills, then helps them research, design, and present their own product concept. Fifteen students participated in the program’s pilot in Summer, 2010.
New in 2010, The Garage is a business-generating project sponsored by the Red Hat software company. The Garage will help students with multidisciplinary interests to design products, software, and services leading to the start of new businesses. Currently, the program resides in an office suite in Research IV on Centennial Campus. A free-standing Garage facility will be built in the next five years that has teaching, research, manufacturing, and residential facilities for participating students. The program is directed by Stephen Walsh, Entrepreneur in Residence in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Industrial Design Professor Percy Hooper sits on the directing committee.