CLEMSON — Clemson University has been selected by the National Science Foundation-funded National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) to join the Pathways to Innovation Program.

The Pathways to Innovation Program is designed to help institutions fully incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education. The program is run by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell.

Clemson has assembled a team of faculty and academic leaders from the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, the College of Engineering and Science and the College of Business and Behavioral Science to assess Clemson’s current offerings and to lead a transformation process for integrating entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education.

“Clemson is currently enhancing our already strong innovation and entrepreneurship programs,” President James P. Clements said. “We are committed to accelerating entrepreneurial opportunities and initiatives for our students, educators and the community.

“I feel strongly that participating in the Pathways program will strengthen these efforts, provide mentorship in development of new programs and help our institution grow an even more robust culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

The team leaders for the Pathways to Innovation Program are John Desjardins, associate professor of bioengineering; and Matthew Klein, interim director of the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Robert McCormick, interim dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science, said he looks forward to continued collaboration with colleagues across campus to nurture entrepreneurial thinking.

“The innovation and entrepreneurial programs offered through the College of Business and Behavioral Science are enriching students’ learning experiences across campus and spurring wealth creation through entrepreneurial activity,” he said. “The Pathways program is a wonderful opportunity for us to help undergraduate engineering students bridge the gap between ideas and real-world application. We’re thrilled to lend our expertise to this collaborative effort and continue to share our knowledge with the university community.”

The Pathways to Innovation Program aligns with the College of Engineering and Science’s commitment to the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program, which includes entrepreneurship as one of its five components.

“To have a high impact on society, I feel strongly that design, entrepreneurship and commercialization must play a central role in our college’s focus on the future,” said Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering and Science.

Today’s engineering students want to tackle challenges that have an economic impact. The Pathways to Innovation Program will provide Clemson undergraduate engineering students a mindset and skillset to turn their ideas into practical solutions for real-world problems.

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