School:Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University is a public doctoral research university located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. CSU was established in 1962 and has evolved as an "engaged" campus that is highly connected to its community. Many of its programs are applied and faculty are highly engaged in local and regional research. Despite some efforts out of the Business and Engineering schools, there has not been any major, cross-campus innovation and entrepreneurship efforts. However, CSU has recently (as of Fall 2021) begun to undertake a specific initiative, "CSU 2.0," introduced by current president Harlan Sands. CSU 2.0 is an effort to propel Cleveland State onto the world stage as a forward-thinking, innovative institution. Assuming an aspect of the current pedagogical zeitgeist seeks to deconstruct and improve the institution of education as a whole, this CSU 2.0 initiative presents an incredibly promising opportunity to create large change on the university-wide scale.
Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Cleveland State University's most active innovation and entrepreneurship spaces for students include the Monte Ahuja College of Business' Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Washkewicz College of Engineering's Dan T. Moore's MakerSpace.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosts a variety of centers, services and events to promote student entrepreneurship, including the Weston Ideation Lab, the Small Business Development Center, and StartUp Vikes (an event to create a business in one weekend). It also directs several academic programs, including an undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship and a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship. Although a regional event, Entrepreneurship Immersion Week is sponsored by CSU's Weston Ideation Lab. CSU supports 6 undergraduate students to participate in this week-long residency program at Ashland University. The last program took place in Summer, 2020.
Unlike the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which focuses more on the business and idea side of innovation, the Dan T. Moore MakerSpace specializes in the physical and creating aspects of innovation. It is a design lab which offers physical space, equipment, and skill-building for CSU students to bring their ideas to life. Machinists provide training for students who can then access additional equipment.
Cleveland State also has several student clubs and events which appear to be defunct since 2018-2019, including the Entrepreneurship Club and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, as well as the Idea Vikes and Vike Tank competitions.
Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Like students, faculty are invited to participate in activities at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Monte Ahuja Business College.
Through the Technology Transfer Office, faculty can get help facilitating the commercialization of scientific and technical research findings. The Technology Transfer Office helps with patents, funding (such as through the TeCK Fund), and more.
The CLEteaching Collaboarative is a working group and space for educators and higher education faculty to research and reflect on innovative pedagogy in the Cleveland area.
The CSU T.E.C.H. Hub is an interdisciplinary academic center that primarily empowers faculty to research and develop partnerships with community around advanced technologies in society.
Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function
The Technology Transfer Office at Cleveland State seems to be largely run by a single person, Jack Krazsewski, Esq. Based on a seminar he gave, at which a CSU Fellow was attending, he is ready and willing to help anyone through the legal process of creating a product. However, it is worth noting that the office has a research slant, so while it is well advertised to graduate students, many undergraduates might not even be aware that such an office exists.
Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration
Cleveland State University has a long tradition of engaging with community stakeholders, including industry. Each of the colleges, from business to engineering to urban to education to health sciences to film and fine arts and beyond are closely connected with industry partners who help shape curricula, partner for student career development through internships and events, and inform research. CSU provides these partners with relevant research, professional development and lifelong learning opportunities, and young talent.
The Internet of Things Collaborative (IOTC) is a partnership between CSU, Case Western Reserve University, and the community. The initiative connects the universities to manufacturing, healthcare, and public sectors to inform research and practice related to IoT applications and public interest technology. Closely affiliated with the work of the IOTC is the CSU T.E.C.H. Hub, which works alongside the community to better understand, develop, and lead advanced technologies in society.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Business School also serves as one of several connecting points for businesses to collaborate with CSU.
In addition, the Bachelor's of Mechanical Engineering degree has a collaboration between university and industry built into the curriculum. Many of the senior design projects in the mechanical engineering are sponsored by industry partners, such as Parker Hannifin. Through this year-long senior design project, students will meet with their industry sponsors and work towards the design of something for the company. However, it is worth mentioning that these industry partnerships are a double-edged sword. From talking with mechanical engineering seniors, there are more senior design projects than there are teams, so inevitable some projects get dropped. The projects that get dropped tend to be ones led by students. While this makes sense from the perspective of a person trying to maintain university-industry relationships, it also stamps out student-led initiatives and projects.
Most recently, CSU has begun exploring how it might better connect with the prominent healthcare industry in Northeast Ohio in a health innovation initiative.
Engaging With Regional & Local Economic Development Efforts
Under the leadership of President Harlan Sands, CSU is undergoing changes with the goal of growing and strengthening the university for the future through "CSU 2.0". Several of CSU 2.0's strategic themes are connected to innovation and entrepreneurship, including: distinction as an urban public research university, differentiating on engaged learning, and strengthening an anchor mission and becoming a beacon institution.
Through its centers and colleges, CSU also connects with various regional economic development efforts, including JumpStart, MAGNET, Team NEO, Ohio Means Jobs, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and the City of Cleveland.