Wayne State University to launch Innovation Hub to maximize student success, strengthen community connections and streamline business partnerships

November 15 event will engage students, faculty, staff and community with the numerous opportunities at Wayne State University brought about by rapidly advancing technology.

Media Contacts: Matt Lockwood; Wayne State University; 313.577.9098; mlockwood@wayne.edu; Barbara Fornasiero; EAFocus Communications; 248.260.8466; barbara@eafocus.com

Detroit — Oct. 18, 2017 — As one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities, Wayne State consistently generates important innovations and ground-breaking research. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Ballroom, the university will launch the Wayne Innovation Hub to coordinate and enhance its programs for entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization, and community partnerships, and to enhance the university’s overall culture of innovation.

The Wayne Innovation Hub is an element of the university’s five-year strategic plan, Distinctively Wayne State, which identified innovation and entrepreneurship as strategic focus areas. This strategic focus is driven by rapid technological advances that impact all university disciplines and strongly influence where jobs for students will be in the future.

The Innovation Hub will work with all university units to ensure that students, faculty and staff have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to achieve career success, drive economic development and improve their communities. These efforts include expansion at TechTown Detroit, Wayne State’s community-facing venture incubator and accelerator; innovative programming at Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute; educational offerings such as entrepreneurship certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels from the Mike Ilitch School of Business; strengthened support for student ventures, projects, and organizations; and enhancement of the university’s technology commercialization and business partnership practices.

“To achieve success in this world of accelerating technology, we must prepare our students with innovation and entrepreneurship skills, strengthen our community connections, and enhance technology transfer and business partnerships,” said Provost Keith E. Whitfield. “Our strong Detroit roots, world-class academic and research programs, and thriving, diverse campus culture make us exceptionally well positioned to produce needed innovation and play a leadership role in the revitalization of the Detroit region.”

David Tarver, recently hired senior counselor to the provost for innovation and entrepreneurship, will administer the Innovation Hub and provide guidance and strategic direction. Tarver brings experience as a successful technology company founder, author, urban business development advocate, and entrepreneurship educator. He aims to play a key role in making Wayne State University an innovation and entrepreneurship powerhouse.

“Wayne State is one of the nation’s leading urban research universities, and considering the current Detroit resurgence, the time is right to grab hold of the talent and ideas that exist here to produce the groundbreaking innovations, new ventures and community partnerships that will improve the quality of life here and around the world,” said Tarver.

The Innovation Hub launch celebration will remind people on campus and throughout the region that Wayne State has a strong track record of innovation and entrepreneurship and showcase how it is taking its commitment to an even higher level. The event will include music; a series of short, entertaining “IDO” (Innovation, Disruption, Opportunity) talks; and the kickoff of a student-led community engagement project in which participants produce one-minute video profiles to highlight the innovations produced by everyday Detroiters. Attendees will also be encouraged to connect with the many innovation and entrepreneurship resources that exist on campus and around the community, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

A reception with food and beverages will follow the program. This free event is open to the public. Please register by visiting http://go.wayne.edu/innovation-hub. Wayne State students need not register in advance.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.

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