Daylong program focused on improving university innovation ecosystems—bringing researchers' and students' ideas to impactARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting university invention, innovation and entrepreneurship, with its partners at the University of Maryland - College Park, George Washington University, and Virginia Tech is bringing together leaders in university research-based innovation to catalyze the growth of effective ecosystems supporting their work. The University Innovation Summit will take place on Thursday, November 8 at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, VA. The Summit, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and The Lemelson Foundation will bring together over 100 leaders, practitioners and supporters of invention and innovation to share practices, discuss resources and generate practical ideas for improving the ecosystem for university invention and innovation. Through an intensive daylong program actively engaging participants in discussion, the Summit will provide an opportunity to both inform participants about relevant services, resources and programs and provide an opportunity to gather their input on how best to support the development of effective and healthy university innovation and commercialization ecosystems to support researchers and students in bringing their ideas to impact. The input provided during the sessions will be used to inform a report and will be shared with participants, sponsors and the broader community. Interest in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization within U.S. colleges and universities has grown in recent years, especially as related to scientific and technological discoveries. Higher education institutions have developed numerous programs and infrastructure to help faculty explore and realize the potential for commercialization of their research, through technology translation programs, captive incubators and seed funds and increasingly through interdisciplinary educational collaborations between engineering, science and business schools, and co-curricular programming that increases knowledge and skills for entrepreneurship. The NSF and other federal programs, along with private foundations and nonprofit organizations such as The Lemelson Foundation have supported these efforts to strengthen the higher education entrepreneurial ecosystem leading to increased commercialization of research based innovations.