We are delighted that the University Center for Regional Economic Innovation, a project sponsored by the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development and the US Economic Development Agency has awarded the Innovation 5 team a grant under their co-learning program. These funds will enable us to engage with more students in our project planning and implementation phases. We will be reporting out on the results of our efforts to bring everyone together to develop a new community resource, including a presentation at the 2013 Innovate Michigan! Summit.
There is an interesting visionary article in Forbes interviewing Eric Drexler about the potential for what he calls 'Atomically Precise Manufacturing.' The notion is essentially to improve the current additive manufacturing technologies such as 3D printering and other rapid prototyping equipment to make manufacturing at the atomic scale routine. Drexler is a long-time advocate of manufacturing at the nanoscale, although his ideas are controversial as many consider that the physics of the nanoscale may preclude easy scaling to the atomic level. But who knows - maybe in a few years we will be printing atoms at Innovation 5!
Lots of interesting general science here as well as a lot of material about innovation, communicating with the public and internet resources everything! The session on using crowdsourcing to fund science projects was so crowded I couldn't even get near the door to the session! On the fun side, Nathan Myrvohld's talk on Science in the Kitchen was really entertaining - for example, his research on wine decanting, often a feature of the presentation of expensive wines in fancy restaurants led him to a new method he calls 'hyperdecanting.' You will probably be surprised at his technique!
Had a good conversation with folks from the Exploratorium, one of my favorite hands-on science museums and they were enthusiastic about the Innovation 5 concept and agreed that the mixing of a hands-on innovation for kids into an prototyping space was a concept they had not heard about elsewhere. Talked to a reporter for NOVA who may contact us for a show in the planning stages on innovation!
Another fun event was an evening with Ig Nobel prize winners. Perhaps the most amusing part of the ceremony for the Innovation 5 crowd is that the 'human spotlight' (the guy painted siver with the flashlight) is Jim Bredt, one of the pioneers in the field of 3D printing!
I'm at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston for the rest of the week. This is my first visit to this meeting and I hope to pick up some information and help for the Innovation 5 project while I am here. I also plan to listen to some cool talks. Today I'm attending a symposium on Communicating Science to Policy-Makers. As I come across interesting items relevant to Innovation 5, I will post here.
There will be a free webinar about fab lab operations hosted by the United States Fab Lab Network - you can register at http://preview.tinyurl.com/fablab-ops . There also will be a symposium on starting fab labs in March in Lynwood Washington; information can be found on the United States Fab Lab Network home page.
I attended the ACE '13 - Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship on January 31. I highly recommend attendance at future events by this organization! There was a remarkably diverse group of attendees, ranging from MSU students promoting a new app, TempoRun, who recently were named as finalists in a national student entrepreneurial startup competition, Student Startup Madness, to regional incubators and free access to consultants. I made a lot of useful contacts for future networking and received a lot of positive feedback on the Innovation 5 concept.
Innovation 5 is proud to announce that we have received our first seed funding from two organizations; Spartan Innovations and Michigan State University's Lyman Briggs College. We are very grateful to both organizations for their early support of our project! We are also proud that organizations focused on both support for business innovation and economic development and on student service learning see that Innovation 5 promises to effectively address these diverse objectives.
The Innovation 5 team has had its abstract accepted for a presentation at the ASQ Advancing the STEM Agenda 2013 conference in Grand Rapids, June 3-4, 2013. The title of the presentation is "Blending Innovation, Student Co-Learning, Entrepreneurship and Informal Education into a new Community Resource - Innovation 5.