Innovation. Ask 15 experts about it – like the “Idea to Value” blog did in 2016 – and you’ll get 15 different definitions. But there are some common elements. Across multiple fields, innovation involves creativity, a new idea, addressing a real challenge, and creating value. It’s an application of better solutions that results in new ways of thinking or doing.
According to Stephen Johnson, author of “Where Good Ideas Come From,” innovation and evolution thrive in networks, within shared physical and intellectual spaces. These creative collisions and connections facilitate ideas.
That’s why innovation thrives at UNC Greensboro.
One area of fertile ground is that space where students and faculty learn from each other – where the magic occurs between mentor and mentee and discovery happens. Minerva Lithium, which you’ll learn about in our “It’s a Go” feature, took root there.
Another is in the efforts of our entrepreneurial LaunchUNCG team, who empower our researchers to develop discoveries with the potential to change our world, by offering them access to innovative networks, industry feedback and partners, seed funding, and much more.
As you would expect, many examples spring from our Bryan School of Business and Economics, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. You’ll find two stories about the Bryan School’s stellar researchers within this issue.
Innovation is about broadening our way of thinking, on campus and off.
It’s when we take a devastating disease like Alzheimer’s and look for a new approach, like physical exercise, to keep memory loss at bay.
It’s when we harness the relationship between athlete and coach to fight concussions and enhance the long-term health of athletes.
It’s when a researcher who was a practicing social worker shines a light on the unique benefits of informal and kinship care – almost completely overlooked in the literature – to build better policies and approaches.
And finally, innovation happens when all students, instead of just those in a narrow subsection of our society, have access to world-class research opportunities, ensuring a robust and diverse workforce pipeline.
Find your innovation here.