SKILD at WSU
To better serve our students and faculty and advance WSU’s economic development goals, CAS recently launched a unique internship program designed to build students’ business and leadership skills and bring innovative research to life.
Through the new Scholarly Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership Development (SKILD) at WSU program, senior and graduate level students in all disciplines can gain experience in the business-development processes while exploring potential applications of University-based research.
“SKILD at WSU interns will work with technology transfer personnel and faculty to review University research activities and define targets for development,” said Brian Kraft, CAS Director of Business Development. “Working in interdisciplinary teams, they will design strategies to translate the target projects into products and services to positively impact our state, nation, and world.”
Key aims of the program are providing faculty with new resources to pursue external applications of their research and helping students develop the communication and problem-solving skills necessary to integrate innovation and application.
“Students will gain valuable experience by examining the business potential of specific WSU research and scholarly activities. Unique training opportunities like this give our graduates a distinct advantage in the job market,” said CAS Dean Daryll DeWald.
Six paid, part-time (10hrs/week) SKILD internships were made available this academic year. Faculty and students University-wide were invited to participate in the program. Interns must have expressed support of a faculty advisor, and their pay can be used to either augment or offset the student/post-doctoral teaching or research appointment.
The SKILD at WSU program seeks to minimize investment of faculty time and maximize the return on the public’s investment, Kraft said. “At WSU, we have been exploring our own technology transfer operations and are beginning to coalesce around a structure that adds value to the traditional functions of the school while introducing new support structures for faculty that serve this broader economic development mission.”