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Collaboration Accelerator

University of Dayton students are working this summer to find creative solutions to real-world challenges posed by a consortium of organizations that includes the Air Force Research Lab, Emerson's Helix Innovation Center, the University of Dayton Research Institute, Ascend Innovations Inc., Krush Technologies and other community partners.

The Collaboration Accelerator brings together students studying political science, engineering, art education, entrepreneurship and other areas for a 12-week paid professional internship experience.

“We want to equip the students with the imaginative and creative skills necessary to excel in the global workforce,” said Brian LaDuca, director of Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation at ArtStreet, which leads the program, “This Collaboration Accelerator allows them to take creative and innovative theory and put it into professional practice. The students build confidence to rethink traditional models for project delivery solutions, and they gain a deeper connection with the city’s people and places.”

Brooke Diviak, a psychology student from New Carlisle, said the internship has exposed her to new opportunities, such as touring the Air Force Research Lab, and new ways of thinking about challenges as she works with students from other majors.

“For my career, I want to focus on how you can take research and what you learn in the classroom and use it to shape our world, so this program is the perfect pathway to do that,” she said.

Along with community partners University Libraries and Busy Being, each consortium organization posed questions to the students, which the group combined into “collisions” to address the most pertinent issues and common themes across organizations. The collisions selected by the consortium of organizations centered around growth — “how do you grow with your customers?” — and essentials — “what is essential for a company to keep?”

"Growth and essentials are exciting simply because the companies that have hired us are very excited by their potential outcomes,” said Eli Redman, a philosophy major. “These were the best options for where the companies currently are, as well as their goals for the future.”

Students will present two immersive experiences to partners and community members on Friday, July 28. The concept of "essentials" evolved into "Concourse D," a project development studio located in the University's Roesch Library for students, faculty and campus affiliates to connect with each other on collaborative ventures. "Growth" will be presented at ArtStreet through "Plena," a holistic growth re-store that utilizes wireless power and sensor technology to gauge individual health needs and create a personalized, adaptable shopping experience. The event is open to the public. No registration is required.

LaDuca said the consortium model of seven companies and 10 challenges is new for the third year of the Collaboration Accelerator. The model is unlike any other accelerator internships in the nation and was inspired by the National Science Foundation’s work with unmanned aerial systems, he said.

Also new this year is a fellowship cohort, which allows eight faculty and staff to build curriculum for the upcoming school year based on this summer's results. The transdisciplinary nature of the program matches the vision set forth by President Eric F. Spina, LaDuca said.

This also marks the third year for collaboration with the Air Force Research Lab and two years of continued collaboration with the University of Dayton Research Institute and Emerson.

Event Details: 

Friday, July 28

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Collaboration Accelerator Experiences
"Plena" at ArtStreet and "Concourse D" at Roesch Library, 2nd floor

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.: Open Dialogue with Collaboration Accelerator students
Roesch Library, 2nd floor

Please visit for directions and parking information. 


News and Communications Staff