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The Innovation[X] Program

The Innovation[X] Program proceeds from the basic idea that productive multidisciplinary collaboration is fundamental to solving big problems. To that end, we have developed a program that brings together faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students from across campus to work on year-long, research-based projects that address real-world issues. We have put out general calls for proposals, as well as, more recently, a specific call for proposals on COVID-19 response related projects.

In our 2019-20 pilot year, the Innovation[X] Program sponsored 6 projects with grants of $20,000. The projects ranged from laser-guided weed control to on-campus food insecurity, involving 90 students and 32 faculty. Due to the positive response by both students and faculty, the program will sponsor 15 projects in the 2020-21 academic year, including four that are addressing issues related to the COVID pandemic and its effects. This year’s program will engage over 78 faculty and 259 students. In the near future the program plans to add more topic-related calls, as well as corporate and NGO challenges.

For questions about Innovation[X], please contact Associate Dean Bob Shandley or Assistant Director Emily Finbow at

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Pick Your Path

Take a look at the Innovation[X] Program and application process from the faculty and student points of view. Dig into the details of our upcoming I[X] 2020-21 projects or our 2019-20 inaugural year I[X] projects below.

Benefits of Innovation[X] Teamwork

Hear from Innovation[X] team leaders on their experiences working across disciplines and with students of all levels.

Photo of Dr Sumana Datta

“The requirement to connect across disciplines & colleges… from faculty to staff, graduate students, & undergraduates to attack a large and difficult problem from many perspectives and at many levels has been even more of a benefit than I expected.”

Photo of Dr Lei You

“Participating in this project is beneficial to both students on my team and me to initiate an innovative research idea, learn cutting-edge technologies, and build an application that could translate research into practice.”

Photo of Dr Theodora Chaspari

“I[X] allowed me to interact with different personalities, understand different learning styles, & address challenges that arose from interdisciplinary miscommunication gaps, which at the end of the day made our team stronger and increased its synergy.”

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