Vanderbilt wants to turn research into inventions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Vanderbilt's new dean of the school of engineering is excited to take the ideas generated by faculty research and turn them into products people can use.

Philippe Fauchet told The Tennessean that of the engineering school's 85 professors, only five are involved in startup companies. That's a much lower percentage than at schools like Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To help make entrepreneurship a more prominent part of the university's ethos, Vanderbilt has preliminary plans to build an interdisciplinary research building for the engineering and medical schools. It also would contain an innovation center that could serve as a business incubator.

Also, faculty is creating more courses that connect students with local companies. And students have created new entrepreneurship and technology-related clubs and competitions.

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