Innovation, entrepreneurship plan bolstered by early fundraising success

UNC-Chapel Hill has raised more than $11 million for a new $125 million fundraising campaign supporting an ambitious plan to bring the power of innovation and entrepreneurship to bear on the world’s biggest problems.

“Innovate@Carolina: Important Ideas for a Better World” is a roadmap developed through nearly a year of deliberations by alumni and friends with extensive experience leading innovation in science, business, medicine, nonprofits and academia. Alumnus Lowry Caudill, co-founder of Magellan Laboratories Inc. and an adjunct faculty member, chaired the Innovation Circle, which also worked with a Faculty Innovation Working Group and Student Innovation Team. The roadmap was previewed Sept. 23 for the University’s Board of Trustees and will be officially released on University Day, Oct. 12.

“The innovation roadmap provides a well-researched and conceived strategy for helping our faculty and students produce basic knowledge of the highest quality,” said Chancellor Holden Thorp. “We want them to have the freedom and encouragement to seek solutions and answers to the most important problems – and then to be empowered to act on their ideas.”

The Innovation Circle made five major recommendations:

  • Prepare faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, staff and the broader Carolina community with the knowledge, skills and connections to translate ideas into innovation;
  • Collaborate with diverse groups on campus to explore issues, options and creative approaches that may lead to innovations;
  • Translate important new ideas into innovations that improve society more expediently and at an increased volume;
  • Align people, incentives and processes to strengthen an intentional culture of innovation at Carolina; and
  • Catalyze innovation at Carolina by facilitating the work of faculty, staff and students as they put important ideas to use for a better world.

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Published September 23, 2010.