June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
22.1197.1 - 22.1197.8
Proof of Concept, LLC: A Private Company Facilitating University Entrepreneurship and Industry InteractionThis paper describes a private company that sits at the interface of the corporate and academicworlds. Although created as a for-profit entity that does not involve a formal partnership withthe University, the company supplements a role traditionally handled by university corporaterelations offices: delivering funded, challenging multidisciplinary projects to student teams.Proof of Concept is a contract engineering firm that leverages University resources through aseries of “fee-for-use” rental agreements for key equipment (e.g. wind tunnels, SEMs, anechoicchambers, etc), providing engineering R&D services with a core competency in early-stagereduction to practice of technology-based ideas. Teams are formed on a per-project basis,consisting primarily of upper-division engineering students, with key faculty expertise andtechnical advising provided through consultant agreements. Typical products are “skunkworks”-type operations, with rapid development, prototyping, and validation of client technology. AllIntellectual Property generated during the project is owned entirely by the client. This modelremoves many of the constraints of industry partnerships and technology transfer, and iscurrently being used by the University as both an incubator for student/faculty/staff innovation aswell as a means to acquire solid, industrially relevant projects for Senior design students.
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