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University of Miami

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OVERVIEW

A private research university with more than 16,000 students from around the world, the University of Miami is a vibrant and diverse academic community focused on teaching and learning, the discovery of new knowledge, and service to both the community and the world.

The University comprises 11 schools and colleges serving undergraduate and graduate students in more than 180 majors and programs. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked UM among the top 50 universities in the country in its “Best Colleges” listings. U.S. News also cites several of its programs in “America's Best Graduate Schools.”

Established in 1925 during the region's famous real estate boom, UM is a major research university engaged in more than $309 million in research and sponsored program expenditures annually. While the majority of this work is housed at the Miller School of Medicine, investigators conduct hundreds of studies in other areas, including marine science, engineering, education, and psychology.

 

PROMOTING STUDENT INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

There are many resources available for students to learn and experiment with I&E on campus, and the environment is only improving.

Many departments have classes that are based mainly around allowing students to learn about I&E, or at the very least, are incorporating these principles into already existing classes. There are also accreditation programs, majors, and minors at the School of Business that allow students to get formal educations in I&E subjects.

The largest I&E resource on campus is LaunchPad, which is a center on campus dedicated to helping students who have questions about their ideas or projects, can help students find or use I&E resources, and even provide seed funding for the best projects done by students.

There is much that can be done to further improve this environment, though. Many resources on campus, especially ones that have expensive machinery for prototyping, have very limited access for students, or are very picky about which students can use them, and for what. If these were made to be more widely available, this would greatly improve student’s ability to create and further their projects.

 

ENCOURAGING FACULTY INNOVATION AND ETREPRENURSHIP

The University of Miami is a very prevalent research institution, and every department on campus has dozens, if not hundreds of research projects going on all of the time. This is an advantage, in that students and faculty are always looking for more that they can do to further the scientific and academic communities, and many interesting projects are coming out of the university all of the time.

A major drawback of this, though, is that much of the time and effort we use is based around writing and securing grants, and then getting publications. Because of this, efforts in creating new and innovative products or services is somewhat pushed aside. The general atmosphere of the university trends towards working on experiments, while more innovation in a more classic sense is much less emphasized.  

 

ACTIVELY SUPPORTING THE UNIVERSITY TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER FUNCTION

The Technology Transfer center of UM is a great resource on campus, but it has a few significant drawbacks.

First, it is mostly geared towards providing opportunities and resources for faculty. Students are given significantly less attention and resources, and this makes it seem like student innovation is less important and encouraged. Secondly, the ownership rights are very strict, and give very little in the way of allowing idea creators to make profit or get any other compensation for their work. Finally, the actual resources of the office are very poorly marketed, and many people on campus don’t even know they exist.

These policies may be very difficult to change, but any sort of shift in the right direction would be very beneficial to students.

 

FACILITATING UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION

Miami is a booming hub of industry, and every department on campus can easily find a number of different businesses and projects that are relevant to their studies within a short drive of campus. There are efforts by the school to bring students and these industries together, but there could be much more done to do this.

The main contribution to this is the regular Career Fair, which brings many different businesses, both local and national, to allow students to network and talk to real employers, and it is not uncommon for students to be able to get an internship position or full job through this.

There are many resources going untapped, though. Miami has a large number of angle investors, incubators, accelerators, etc. that are all within just miles of the main campus, and yet very little of these are being utilized or advertised to students. Making these more prevalent might be a large step towards helping students bring their ideas to life.

 

ENGAGING WITH REGIONAL AND LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS

There is very little being done by the school to engage with economic development. There are certain student organization groups dedicated to projects of this nature, but they are limited by the funds that are allocated to student organizations, as well as the time limitations of the students running them.


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