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A Comparative Analysis of Technology Innovation Centers of Excellence Across the World: Secrets to Success

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

INT. Engineering Education: Developments, Innovations, Partnerships, and Implementations

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Page Count


Page Numbers

23.28.1 - 23.28.31



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Paper Authors


Michael J. Dyrenfurth Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Michael J. Dyrenfurth is a Professor of Technology Leadership and Innovation in the College of Technology at Purdue University. He is a member of the ASEE and he has served on the Board of the ETD and as program chair for the CIEC in New Orleans (2008). Previously he completed a four year term as Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in Purdue University’s College of Technology. His scholarship agenda focuses on technological innovation, technological literacy, workforce development, and international dimensions of these fields. Increasingly, he has turned his attention to the field of technological innovation and the assessment of technological capability, understanding and innovation.
Internationally he has worked in Germany, South Africa, Poland, the USSR, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Czech and Slovak Republics, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Taiwan His early experience involved teaching in Alberta and at universities in North Dakota and New Jersey.
Immediately before coming to Purdue, he served as graduate coordinator for the Industrial Education and Technology Department at Iowa State University. Previously, for twenty years, he was on the faculty of the University of Missouri’s Department of Practical Arts and Vocational Technical Education in various professorial, coordinator and leadership roles. He maintains a consulting practice in the area of third party evaluation, technology futuring and leadership and curriculum development.
He received his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University and his master's and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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James L. Barnes James Madison University

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Dr. James L. Barnes is a professor of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University (JMU) and co-principal of Barnes Technologies International, LLC (BTILLC). He has over thirty-five years of experience in science and technology fields and has been the independent evaluator for many international programs. Prior to joining the JMU faculty, Dr. Barnes was the Director of NASA RISE, a NASA research institute at Eastern Michigan University and at the technology research center at The University of Texas at Austin. He earned his doctoral degree from Virginia Tech and authored numerous publications in Problem Solving, Sustainability, and Innovation.

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Susan Kubic Barnes James Madison University

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A Comparative Analysis of Technology Innovation Centers Across the World: Characteristics, Services and OpportunitiesAbstract: With increasing competitive pressures world-wide, unioversities are expected to play asignificant role in evolving positive ways forward. This is particularly true for technology-oriented universities because they are being perceived as engines for economic growth. Tofacilitate this role, many universities have evolved centers variously called Innovation Centers,Technology Centers, Research Parks, and the like. But, free-standing centers have halso beenestablished. Both types of such centers are the focus of this paper which proposes to present acomparative analysis of technology innovation centers across the world and their characteristics,services and opportunities. The variety of goals that technology innovation centers address will be compiled andcategorized as will be the work of these agencies as they seek to gain international competitiveadvantage, champion a leadership role for global economic and technological development, andadvise or establish policy. Complicating what was once simply called R&D, the exponential factoring of knowledgedue to scientific and technological advances, the process of innovating (i.e., solving complexglobal problems) will require a different way of thinking than what was used to create them. Nolonger are solutions bound within a domain, science or technology. Instead solutions require ahighly integrated approach across many domains, sciences, or technologies. Thus, it is necessary for technology innovation centers to create unique niches thatdifferentiate them from other technology-oriented universities focusing on the most significantproblems facing our global society. This competitive focus emphasizes the intersection betweeninnovation, technology, production, and the creation and diffusion of knowledge. It embraceshow technology centers of excellence shape emerging methodology and contextual environmentfor maximizing their capability to innovate. Coupled with this reality, is the pressure for technology-oriented universities to meet theABET and/or equivalent standards for accreditation. Innovation Centers, Technology Centers,Research Parks, and the like provide an excellence vehicle for providing a value-addedcomponent for technology-oriented universities to extend the curriculum experience byproviding students an undergraduate research experience of real-world applications. The authors of this paper present a comparative analysis of technology-orienteduniversity centers of excellence. The selection methodology and validation process, used by theauthors for this study was based on criteria and methodology established by the AmericanInstitute for Innovation Excellence, under their license agreement. To gain an understanding ofcharacteristics, services and opportunities for Innovation Centers, Technology Centers, ResearchParks and the like, the authors focused on worldwide recognized technology centers ofexcellence to examine their leadership, operation and management, processes and practices,services and support, and people. Based on this comparative analysis, the authors developed aninnovation model for technology-oriented university technology innovation centers forchampioning a leadership role for global economic development. Through this presentation the authors present a study that has wide application for allfacets of engineering and technology education as an integral component of continuous programimprovement.

Dyrenfurth, M. J., & Barnes, J. L., & Barnes, S. K. (2013, June), A Comparative Analysis of Technology Innovation Centers of Excellence Across the World: Secrets to Success Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19042

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