December 2015 Friends of UA

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Dear Friend of UA, I have been thinking and writing about innovation for my blog this month. It is an important concept in the contemporary world, driving inventors, artists, scientists, businesses large and small, and many others to push the boundaries of human knowhow and capability, while cities, towns, states, and nations compete to create the economic, cultural, and social conditions that allow innovation to happen and innovators to thrive.

December 16, 2015

 
 

 

Dear Friend of UA,

 

I have been thinking and writing about innovation for my blog this month. It is an important concept in the contemporary world, driving inventors, artists, scientists, businesses large and small, and many others to push the boundaries of human knowhow and capability, while cities, towns, states, and nations compete to create the economic, cultural, and social conditions that allow innovation to happen and innovators to thrive.

 

The importance of all of this is partly why Innovating is one of the four pillars of the University of Arizona's Never Settle strategic plan, along with Engaging, Partnering, and Synergy. As we build the future of this institution upon these pillars, the impact of UA innovation can be seen throughout our community. For instance, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education has recognized the UA's Vicente Talanquer as one of the nation's best undergraduate educators, and Regents' Professor Roger Angel has been selected for induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. But what is innovation, exactly, and how do we promote and sustain it?

 

Many definitions of innovation emphasize newness. Innovators bring new products to market, create new ways of doing things, and imagine new forms of art and expression, but these definitions do not tell us how innovations come to be, how the new is related to what preceded it, or how scientists, businesspeople, artists, and other innovators do their work. Particularly important for the UA is the difference between trying to build an innovation pipeline, which is often understood to emphasize movement from discovery to its application in a specific product, and creating an innovation ecosystem, which takes a broader view to encourage the serendipitous findings, conclusions, and moments of inspired insight that are often behind some of the most groundbreaking and revolutionary advances in human thought and ability. The ecosystem model depends greatly on partnership with business and community leaders, which helps to expand the impact of university research as we have seen in other parts of the U.S. like Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colorado; North Carolina's research triangle; and the Bay Area. I address the ways we are building an innovation ecosystem for the UA and Arizona in my blog post this month.

 

One absolutely critical area for this work is in the health sciences. Just a few weeks ago, members of the UA's leadership team presented to the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) on the UA Health Sciences (UAHS), formerly known as the Arizona Health Sciences Center. Dr. Skip Garcia, the UA's Senior Vice President of Health Sciences, presented on the progress we have made implementing the Never Settle plan in UAHS, and a panel including leaders from the UA and from Banner Health presented on the UA's academic affiliation with Banner and the Academic Management Council, which we invented here at the UA to help guide the clinical partnership and ensure that UA physicians have an unprecedented amount of input into the management of their clinical work, research, and teaching. A video of the full presentation to ABOR is available here. I encourage you to view it and to read this month's insert to learn more about the good things that are happening in UAHS and throughout the University.

 

As we wind down the Fall 2015 semester, I am also very happy to share that the UA's undergraduate and graduate programs in entrepreneurship have both made the top 25 in Forbes' "top schools for entrepreneurs," and the UA College of Nursing has been ranked No. 1 in the state for its program outcomes by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. As we continue to build the UA's innovation ecosystem, we will only see more outcomes like these, and broader and amplified impact from the University of Arizona throughout the state.

 

Looking forward to the New Year, please accept my deep thanks for your support and partnership throughout 2015, and best wishes for a joyous holiday season. I will be back in touch with another Friends of UA in January.

 

Most sincerely,

 

Ann Weaver Hart
President
University of Arizona

 

 

 
 

 

If you have questions or comments about this email, please send them to president@email.arizona.edu

© 2015 The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona

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