CEIED Hosts Two-Day HBCU Summit
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The HBCU/MSI Summit hosted a two-day virtual event on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” (visit https://hbcuinnovate.com) seeking to increase capacity and strengthen programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) through collaboration, sharing of successful models and highlighting federal agency funding and industry subcontracting opportunities.
The first day of the Summit on October 26 was sponsored by NASA and included presentations and networking opportunities with various federal agency representatives and prime contractors. The second day of the Summit, sponsored by AAMU and NSF on Wednesday, October 27, sought to increase innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for the 44 HBCUs in the current 11 Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) jurisdictions, working on STEM innovation and entrepreneurship.
Panelists from academia and industry discussed successful models to create ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurial development to support diverse populations and stimulate the translation of fundamental university-based research into commercially viable technologies. This event was a platform for HBCUs and MSIs working on STEM and multidisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship—as well as the broader academic and industry related STEM and business community—to engage in discussions of best approaches, activities, and implementation strategies to develop these campuses into highperforming resources of STEM innovation and entrepreneurship.
Federal and industry partners provided insight into the current state of HBCUs and MSIs innovation capacity and capability from their various perspectives. Understanding this baseline lays the groundwork and insights necessary to understand the types of interventions needed to support these institutions.
Additionally, AAMU under the leadership of Dr. Teresa Merriweather Orok, executive director, Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Development (CEIED), created a data-driven record of the current capacity and capabilities of HBCUs and will provide recommendations to support a sustainable and viable pipeline of entrepreneurs from underrepresented populations into the national and global STEM research enterprise.
Representatives from the DOD discussed the DOD’s role in building capacity at HBCUs and MSIs, as well as opportunities within DOD. The DOD HBCUs/MSI Program consistently strives to build a more diverse pool of scientists, engineers and other professionals to meet future defense-related needs.
The HBCUs/MIs Program is sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and was designed to foster student interest in STEM education and careers in DoD while supporting the DoD’s objective of developing a diverse, motivated, and highly skilled civilian workforce.
Panelists discussed opportunities and the path for pursuing opportunities. Attendees had an opportunity to hear firsthand from representatives at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Headquarters, U.S.
Army Materiel Command and the Director for Headquarters (HQ) U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), Office of the Commander about FY 2022 opportunities with DOD.
At this year’s event, IBM Corporation, Global Business Services, U.S. Federal, and IBM Global University Specialty, along with other industry partners, discussed their initiatives and approach towards strengthening HBCU & MSIs' innovation and entrepreneurship capacity.