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NC State University has a rich history of innovating for the greater good.

Bringing together new ideas and technology to directly address the world’s challenges and ensure economic and social prosperity is our “sweet spot.”

We are recognized as a problem-solving institution, and we want to take that role to the next level.

While NC State is home to numerous innovators and innovative organizations, we must be even more strategic and deliberate in how we work in concert to fully leverage our innovative capacity, potential and impact. To secure our place as a global innovation leader, we must inspire and engage our innovation community, our partners and those among us who will serve as the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and creative scholars.

Terri Lomax
Vice Chancellor Terri Lomax will direct the Office of Research and Innovation, formerly known as the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

Through the efforts of a task force that has been operating for the past year, we have identified several changes that can be made in our innovation infrastructure that can immediately increase our impact and set the stage for the upcoming strategic planning efforts.

In direct support of providing the environment and resources necessary for partnerships, innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive, I am pleased to announce that the Office of Research and Graduate Studies will become the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI).

We also are officially introducing Springboard – NC State’s Innovation Partnership Portal. Under the direction of Vice Chancellor Terri Lomax, ORI will facilitate innovation by our world-class faculty, staff and students together with our remarkable network of partners.

Capitalizing on our location in one of the best places to innovate in the world and our high level of innovation activity, this new approach will focus on better aligning resources to advance the capacity of our researchers and partners. Springboard will be a hub for full integration and coordination of our innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

The objective is to address current barriers by investing in opportunities, streamlining processes, improving accessibility for our internal and external communities, and providing innovation training and outreach.

Chancellor Woodson at Forum
Chancellor Randy Woodson speaks at the Chancellor Forum on September 15, 2010.

To help researchers get their ideas to market, I am pledging a Chancellor’s Innovation Fund of $2.5 million over five years. This fund will serve to bridge a gap, by providing a source of proof-of-concept and early seed funding to advance NC State’s discoveries.

As you know – and as many of you heard last week in our first Chancellor Forum – I am a strong believer in metrics. We need those goals and benchmarks along the way that measure our effectiveness and inform our actions.

In this case, we have set ambitious goals of doubling the number of startups by 2012, and increasing sponsored research by 50 percent by 2015.

It is my hope that all organizations across campus will embrace innovation as a core value, work together to participate in the innovation network, eliminate barriers that limit the creative spirit, streamline innovation processes, and promote innovative activities and resources that will advance NC State’s scholarship and research impact and reputation.

We are very good at this work.

I believe we can be even better.

Randy Woodson
NC State University