Carnegie Mellon University
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University Launches $18 Million Initiative

Infusing Entrepreneurship and Innovation Across Campus


Carnegie Mellon University launched an $18 million initiative — with $3 million in seed funding from the Kauffman Foundation — to infuse entrepreneurship and innovation-management courses throughout the university's undergraduate curriculum.   

"We are very grateful to the Kauffman foundation for its strong and generous support of our plans to integrate the pursuit of innovation and entrepreneurship into the undergraduate and graduate curriculum," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. "The new initiative will strengthen the research agenda on innovation and economic growth, and accelerate a major shift in the educational aims at this university that will benefit our students for decades to come. I hope that higher education around the world will benefit from this new approach."    

Under the new plan, the university seeks to create a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation that spans the entire undergraduate program at Carnegie Mellon. The university will also leverage relationships with new global partnerships to broaden and deepen the educational potential of those efforts. 

The new initiative will begin in close collaboration with Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, where the plan is to begin reforming undergraduate engineering education and then disseminate it across campus.    

"The College of Engineering has a long tradition of undergraduate education reform," said Pradeep K. Khosla, former dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering. "This initiative is aimed at educating the next generation of engineers who will enable, manage and deploy innovation in multicultural, multilingual and distributed environments."

A new graduate degree program created by the university's College of Engineering launched in 2007. The Engineering and Technology Innovation master's program is a one-year, interdisciplinary degree that teaches engineers and technical professionals skills to foster and manage technical innovation.    

The effort is being managed through the establishment of a new Institute for the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technological Change that will be the hub for education and research in innovation and entrepreneurship.

"Over the past few years, Carnegie Mellon has built up a multidisciplinary community of scholars devoted to research and advanced education in entrepreneurship and technological change," said Steven Klepper, director of the new center. Klepper is the Arthur Arton Hamerschlag Professor of Economics and Social Science in Carnegie Mellon's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Tepper School of Business.

Professor Klepper added, "The support from the Kauffman Foundation will enable us to leverage this expertise throughout the university, allowing students from all disciplines to understand and exploit the power of innovation."    

A recent report by the Conference Board reported that two-thirds of the world's top executives plan to incorporate innovation into their business models to drive growth.   

Carnegie Mellon was one of a select number of colleges and universities across the country that received grants as part of the Kauffman Foundation's Kauffman Campuses Initiative. The Carnegie Mellon grant is part of a $200 million effort to transform the way entrepreneurship education is taught in the nation's colleges and universities.

The university was selected based on a series of criteria, including the ability to create a culture of entrepreneurship that permeates the campus, the potential to create new representative models and the ability to partner with other foundations and funders.

This initiative will build on the efforts of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship in the Tepper School of Business. The center is nationally recognized as one of the top entrepreneurship centers in the country, and has been offering exceptional graduate, undergraduate and entrepreneurial education programs since its inception in 1990.

"Carnegie Mellon, along with other Kauffman Campuses schools, will empower all students on campus to access the skills, orientation and networks that can lead to greater individual opportunities and to the creation of jobs, innovation and prosperity for America," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation.

Additional funding for the initiative came from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Akron, Ohio, along with monies from industry, government and other private sources.

Related Links: Kauffman Foundation  |  Dean Khosla on Innovation [VIDEO]  |  A New Breed of Innovation  |  Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences  |  Tepper School of Business  |  College of Engineering

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