White House cites MITx MOOC as key tool for bringing innovations to market more effectively

3.086x Innovation and Commercialization listed by OSTP as resource for improving US innovation competitiveness

CAMBRIDGE, MA, June 24, 2013 — The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a fact sheet today citing the upcoming MITx massive open online course (MOOC) 3.086x Innovation and Commercialization as a key resource for bringing innovation to market more effectively. Taught by MIT Professor Eugene Fitzgerald and Dr. Andreas Wankerl, the course is developed out of an innovation approach described in their 2010 book Inside Real Innovation (World Scientific).

The course, offered on the edX platform starting September 16, is intended for inventors, entrepreneurs, corporate decision-makers, investors and policy-makers. It provides a new model for understanding the innovation process as highly iterative rather than linear. The course and related book were developed out of Professor Fitzgerald’s years of experience bringing new silicon chip technologies to market and share much of that real-world experience.

“People often think of innovation as a straight-line process from invention to implementation to product to market,” said Professor Fitzgerald in discussing the course. “In the real world, innovation is much more complicated and requires a deep understanding of technologies, implementation options and potential markets all at the same time throughout the process. Effective innovation requires many different attempts to fit these three domains together to bring a product to market successfully.”

The ideas developed in Inside Real Innovation and shared in the course have been recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology policy as a key NGO contribution to the Materials Genome Initiative, an effort to develop research, policies and infrastructure that can more effectively bring advanced materials to market as cutting edge products. The Materials Genome Initiative includes a portfolio of federal and external stakeholder commitments, including several efforts at MIT.

The Materials Genome Initiative was announced by President Obama on June 24, 2011 in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University. “The invention of silicon circuits and lithium ion batteries made computers and iPods and iPads possible, but it took years to get those technologies from the drawing board to the market place,” said the President in describing the Initiative. “We can do it faster.”

The course is aimed at professionals working in innovation-related fields. It will help inventors and researchers better understand the process of bringing their developments to market. It will provide a more textured understanding of the process of moving from invention to market for entrepreneurs. Corporations will benefit through a clear understanding of how to revive top-line growth. The course will give investors a better sense of when in the innovation process funding can be most effective. For policy-makers the course can help to more effectively target policies to support innovation. The course has no prerequisites.

In addition to 3.086x Innovation and Commercialization, MITx is offering five other new courses on the edX platform this fall. New courses include 24.00x Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness, 4.605x A Global History of Architecture: Part 1, 8.01x Classical Mechanics, 16.101x Introduction to Aerodynamics, and 16.110x Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics. In addition, MITx will offer courses previously available, including 6.002x Circuits and Electronics.

About the Professors

Eugene Fitzgerald is the Merton C. Flemings SMA Professor of Materials Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Fellow in the Singapore-MIT Alliance. Prof. Fitzgerald is Founder and Board Chairman of Innovation Interface. Building upon his early experience at AT&T Bell Labs, he has created and led a series of fundamental innovations, from early technology to final implementation in the market. He received a BS degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 1985 from MIT and his PhD in the same discipline from Cornell University in 1989. Andreas Wankerl is Operations Director of the Innovation Interface. He conceptualized its beginnings and co-founded its precursor, the Business of Science and Technology Initiative at Cornell University. The Innovation Interface works with corporations on innovation processes and innovation projects at the corporate/university interface. He received his BS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell. After four years of managing international sales and customer relations in the semiconductor equipment industry, he returned to Cornell to earn his MBA and to start what has become the Innovation Interface with both Cornell and MIT.

About the Materials Genome Initiative

Advanced materials are essential to economic security and human well being, with applications in industries aimed at addressing challenges in clean energy, national security, and human welfare, yet it can take 20 or more years to move a material after initial discovery to the market. Accelerating the pace of discovery and deployment of advanced material systems will therefore be crucial to achieving global competitiveness in the 21st century. The Materials Genome Initiative is a multi-agency initiative designed to create a new era of policy, resources, and infrastructure that support U.S. institutions in the effort to discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials twice as fast, at a fraction of the cost.

About World Scientific

World Scientific Publishing Company is a leading independent academic and scientific publisher established in 1981.The company employs more than 400 staff at its headquarters in Singapore and offices in New Jersey, London, Geneva, Chennai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. In about 3 decades, it has established itself as one of the leading independent scientific publishers in the world, and the largest international scientific publisher in the Asia-Pacific region. It co-founded the London-based Imperial College Press with London University’s Imperial College and collaborates closely on publishing and content distribution with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation and the US National Academies. World Scientific publishes over 500 books and 130 journals annually.

About MITx

The MITx program supports MIT’s exploration of teaching approaches enabled by digital technologies, both on the MIT campus and through scalable online courses on the edX platform. MITx is a constituent organization of MIT’s new Office of Digital Learning, under the leadership of the Director of Digital Learning, Professor Sanjay Sarma.

About edX

EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise composed of 27 leading global institutions, the xConsortium. Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, edX is focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research on an open source platform. EdX provides inspirational and transformative knowledge to students of all ages, social status, and income who form worldwide communities of learners. EdX is focused on people, not profit, and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the USA.

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  • Steve Carson
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