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INNOVATION SCHOLARS offers high-impact experiential learning programs for outstanding liberal arts students from Minnesota’s private colleges and universities. Cross-disciplinary teams of students tackle real-world challenges in biomedical and health care technology transfer and entrepreneurship, achieving mutual benefits for project sponsors and student participants.

Our relationship with Minnesota’s private liberal arts colleges and universities benefits undergraduate and graduate students as well as established and start-up companies in the biomedical/biotechnology and health care sectors. We currently partner with 12 Minnesota private colleges and universities. We plan to extend partnership opportunity to 17 schools by 2027 and increase the number of participating multidisciplinary student teams by 30 percent.

Project partners currently include Mayo Clinic and Medical Alley early-stage medical companies. In addition to projects that directly benefit biomedical businesses in Minnesota, new project sources may extend the geographic reach of Innovation Scholars both nationally and internationally. For example, starting in 2023 we plan to pilot a partnership with NASA as another source of technology transfer projects in biomedicine. Increasing the number of teams allows us to also expand the number of projects completed per year.

Innovation Scholars leverages the unique strengths of each college and university while providing business partners a seamless and efficient connection to outstanding talent. The outcomes are both transformative learning experiences for Minnesota students and significant contributions to the economic success of the region.