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Engaging Students in New Product Development: Virtual Ideation Platform

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05/23/2011

Many policymakers are emphasizing the need for “innovation,” which is laudable as the core of America’s economic strategy. However, without the necessary technological infrastructure, the call for innovation remains a futile effort. What is missing from the “innovation” model is the realization that metalworking technologies are the foundation of all manufacturing. Precision machining supports those efforts by supplying the requisite tools for production, regardless of the “innovation.” This presentation will explore the Virtual Ideation Platform (VIP) which involves several New England colleges as well as cutting-edge companies from around the region. At the center of the VIP is the Precision Machining Program at CMCC which fabricates components, fixtures, and tooling. This presentation will review specific projects and their impact on students, faculty, and their respective curricula. The implications of the VIP model for economic and workforce development will be explored. A brief lesson on project lifecycle which is used as a framework for ongoing curriculum development under the VIP will be demonstrated.

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