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Dr. Gary Harris is associate provost for research and graduate studies at Howard University. He spoke to USBE Online recently about innovation at the historically black college. Below are excerpts from the conversation. 

There are over 20 exciting areas of discovery and research Howard faculty, staff and student are working onThe programs include:

New Apps for cell-phone applications (i.e. Sugar Apple)
Cyber Security and the Internet of Things
Drug development
New clinical treatment techniques
Architectural Lighting Technology
Electrical Fault Detection
Residential Energy Efficiency
Coal, Clean Coal, Mercury Elimination

Howard has developed several new drugs and drug delivery technologies to include bio-degradable stealth polymeric nanoparticles for improved drug delivery, degradable stealth nano spheres for improved drug delivery, external photoemissive detector for long infrared wavelengths, etc.

Howard researchers at the National Science Foundation Center Integrated for Quantum Materials have developed new materials that are adding to our understanding of quantum keying and quantum computing.

Howard University has a major effort in Innovation, Commercialization, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (IC2E). Howard is working hard to create an IC2E Ecology System to foster major growth in this area.

The program involves: IP protection and licensing, industrial partners, start-up creation, close coupling with educational missions, configurable open lab, every day and a lot of nights, experts-in-residence.

Below are some programs and people who are working hard in this space:

Graduate School’s Faculty Commercialization Grant Program
The program will provide up to $3000 to Faculty, Graduate Students, and/or Postdoc’s to explore the commercialization of research or projects. This program directs people to the SBIR grant or an NSF I-Corps Award after the initial funding.

Spirit of entrepreneurship
Howard University is proud to announce the appointment of Monique Greenwood, a trailblazing journalist and visionary business owner, as the John H. Johnson Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship. The two-year stint began April 2016 and the chair is housed in the School of Communications with university-wide outreach. The endowed chair will collaborate with other university entities, such as the Small Business Development Center, the newly launched Innovation Hub on Georgia Avenue, and the deans of schools across campus to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship. Coordinating workshops and a speaker series for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni and local small businesses, is also part of the charge.

Luma Lab
Howard University and Mayor Muriel Bowser (D.C. Mayor) selected Luma Lab to operate the new DC-based incubator on Howard’s campus, which is expected to open in April 2017. Luma Lab will manage new startup incubator space and manage the hub’s programming. The District’s partnership with Howard University will focus on leveraging University resources for venture capital firms to support medium to late-stage technology and innovation startups. The District contributed nearly $1 million in grant funds to construct over 8,000 square feet of cutting edge workspace within Howard’s Wonder Plaza retail center in the 2300 block of Georgia Avenue. Howard University provided retail space at 50% of market value, institutional support and resources to ensure the lab is successful.

Lean start up teaching and training
Howard, through two courses, is teaching the “Lean Start-up Training.” The courses are called “Bison Start-up” and “Bison Accelerate”. There are typically over 45 students in each class and as a result, 25 start-ups occurred this year.

WATCH: TedX Howard University on YouTube.

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