Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Physics
APS continues its activity in the area of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship within physics. This year is the final year of the APS PIPELINE project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a collaboration between several physics departments focused on teaching physics in a way which will explicitly prepare students for careers in industrial and entrepreneurial settings. Deliverables will include curricula and activities which teach physics students core scientific and technical competencies, work skills (e.g. communication, teamwork, an appreciation of the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration), and a familiarity with fundamental concepts behind commercialization (e.g. value proposition, funding sources, intellectual property).
APS also recently submitted a proposal for a scale-up for PIPELINE which, if funded, would significantly increase the reach of the PIPELINE project to include more faculty members and see more widespread participation among physics departments. If you would like to learn more information about these efforts, please visit the PIPELINE homepage, or sign up for our monthly PIE newsletter.
APS has also worked with FIAP and the Forum on Education (FEd) to sponsor invited sessions at the March Meeting focused on entrepreneurship, “Live Long and Prosper as Physicist, Innovator, and Entrepreneur” and “Adventures of Entrepreneurial Physicists.” The former session will focus on key elements of making entrepreneurial efforts a success and also how physics faculty can incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into their students’ experiences; the latter will showcase the individual stories of several entrepreneurial physicists. Both sessions are taking place on Thursday, March 7 – so if you are planning on attending the APS March Meeting, be sure to stop by and check out these exciting events.
While not every physics graduate will helm their own startup company, understanding how companies are built and how they make decisions will make students more successful in the private sector environments wherein they are overwhelmingly likely to work. By promoting innovation and entrepreneurship within physics, APS hopes to not only inspire students to think about using their scientific and technical abilities to solve problems and prepare students for successful careers in private sector environments, but also to help them recognize opportunities to address human need and move their solutions toward realizable technologies. The potential benefit of these efforts to mankind is enormous, and we hope that FIAP will continue to support physics innovation and entrepreneurship (PIE) activity at APS.