COBE opens Center for Innovation and Analytics
Radford University’s College of Business and Economics (COBE) is combining innovation and analytics in a new center designed to challenge minds, cultivate talents and connect students and faculty in a technology-rich learning environment.
COBE’s Center for Innovation and Analytics opened its doors with the beginning of the fall semester with the purpose of developing a strong focus on student learning and faculty involvement in solving real-life business problems in active collaboration with industry partners.
A goal for the center is to become a destination of choice for students, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, alumni, community partners, faculty and staff interested in innovation and analytics.
“The center is going to be the champion for innovation and analytics for the college and beyond,” said COBE Dean George Low.
COBE’s goal for the center is to focus on innovation and analytics through ways that synergistically enhance the educational experience Radford University students receive in the college.
“The opportunity the center presents is to bring innovation and analytics together in a way that is unique, that focuses on critical thinking and that helps our students to understand that they have to be good at both to be successful in business today,” Low said.
Two COBE faculty members are serving as co-directors of the center. Management Professor Steve Childers will lead the innovation side, while Marketing Professor Wil Stanton guides analytics.
“These two faculty members have distinguished records in the fields of innovation and analytics,” Low said. “In their new roles, they will be in a position to apply their expertise and passion for these two pillars of our strategic plan to the growth and development of this new academic center.”
The center will connect theory with practice, Stanton said, by offering an active learning environment including applied projects and hands-on experiences, such as the COBE/BB&T Innovation Competition that began in 2015.
“I hope business leaders, community supporters and alumni will join us in our programs by contributing as advisors, serving as mentors and connecting with our students through internships, externships, case-based learning and guest lecturing,” Stanton said.
Located in Kyle Hall, the center is not exclusive to COBE; it is open to the entire campus community.
“We invite faculty and students from all disciplines across campus to attend and participate in the center’s programs,” Stanton said. “The center will help students to be better prepared to meet the expectations of employers.”
Overall, Stanton said, the Center for Innovation and Analytics “represents the nexus of innovation and analytics, as analytics is driving innovation and innovation is driving analytics – they overlap – and together they are transforming industries worldwide.”