Conference Dates

January 12-16, 2003


This paper describes a new graduate education initiative entitled the Innovation Realization Laboratory that is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program. The overall objective of the initiative is to have management students and Ph.D. students in science and engineering team to explore issues related to the commercialization of the Ph.D. students' research results. This provides the MBA students with a real world opportunity to apply their business education in a high technology entrepreneurial situation, while providing the Ph.D. students an exposure to all of the complex issues associated with moving research findings to the marketplace. It represents an experiment to determine whether a significant enhancement of the educational experience can be acquired without placing an undue burden on either member of such a student team (or on the major professors). This program has been in operation for two years and has proven quite successful. The paper will describe the program structure, relate some of the lessons learned, and present an assessment of the program based on faculty observations and student feedback.