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Innovate At University Of Florida -Innovation Academy

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Innovation Academy 3D printing

The Innovation Academy - J Citty
Dr. Jeff Citty, Director

The Innovation Academy (IA) is a leading-edge undergraduate program that is poised to provide students with the skills of the 21st-century worldwide economy. We are proud of the foundation and culture of innovation we are delivering to all of our IA students. Our curriculum provides a clear path towards gaining a competitive advantage in today’s global marketplace – complete with four years of specifically designed courses in creativity, entrepreneurship, ethics, and  leadership. Earning the Innovation minor along with a degree provides for a powerfully launched career.
Along the way, we host compelling guest speakers, work with sophisticated prototyping tools, showcase projects at competitions, and leverage university resources such as incubation space and an app. development lab. Being an academic program centered on creatively designing human-centered innovations to solve large and small problems provides a tremendous opportunity for students to excel in forward-thinking and turn their ideas into reality.
Dr. Jeff Citty, Director
The Innovation Academy UF Aerial 2017
Many majors, one minor
The Innovation Academy (IA) is the University of Florida’s groundbreaking undergraduate programs, located at one of its most dynamic research universities that attracts unique students from dozens of majors and integrates them into a spring-summer cohort filled with energy, collisions that become ideas and one common minor: Innovation.
From the unique curriculum to the collision of ideas to the flexibility of the spring-summer cohort, the Innovation Academy is not your average program. A minor in innovation is not for everyone. It is for that special breed of competitive, forward-thinking student. A student willing to explore both the arts and sciences to cultivate the skills needed to land a rewarding job and build a successful career in the modern global economy. Innovation Academy attracts Innovators. Risk takers. Entrepreneurs. Idea people.
The Competitive Edge you are looking for comes with UF IA students at the Innovation Academy at UF:
+ Collaboration with experts and peers
+ Experience with a vital mix of disciplines
+ Learned strategic risk-taking
+ Experimentation with rapid prototyping
+ Exploration of play, passion & purpose
+ Charting the path from creativity to unique professional ventures
Think of us as an exhilaration academy.
Learning to leverage the risk-taking process and get great results is thrilling — and a rare, breathtaking skill once mastered.
David Nassau – Member Of The Inaugural Ia Cohort, Class Of 2017
The draw
“I was interested in the opportunities the program provides. I was excited to meet other highly motivated, like-minded individuals and get involved as a
UF student. Ultimately, I wanted to explore the possibility of establishing a nonprofit to raise awareness and provide funding for multiple sclerosis
research before I graduated.”
The experience
“Participating in IA’s living-learning community, first as a student resident and later as a resident assistant, provided leadership opportunities and taught me to work well with others. Presenting each year at Catalyst gave me the confidence to promote my work and an appreciation for the work of my peers. Creating my first nonprofit, Hopping 4 A Cure, taught me how to involve others in a project and gave me the satisfaction of knowing I was helping people.”
The payoff
“IA’s core classes helped me build a foundation of unique abilities that serve me in my job as product marketing manager for PC and virtual reality gaming at Intel. I am able to apply, daily, the principles I learned in IA’s Creativity, Ethics, Entrepreneurship and Leadership classes. IA prepared me extremely well to effectively communicate, work with individuals of varying backgrounds and speak confidently to large audiences.”
The Innovation Academy - classroom
The Curriculum
The UF Innovation Minor is exclusive to IA students. The Innovation Minor courses are designed to provide a core knowledge base and a skill set to prepare IA students for the 21st-century economy.
1. Creativity in Context
2. Creativity in Action
3. Principles of Entrepreneurship
4. Fostering Innovation through Leadership
5. Conduct, Change & Consequences: Making Ethical Decisions
6. Innovation Academy Senior Project
UF Monuments and Buildings - innovation academy
Catalyst Challenge
Catalyst is Innovation Academy’s summer showcase that serves as a launching point that inspires students to move their ideas forward beyond the classroom and apply their innovative solutions to the communities they live in after the second Innovation minor course ends. IA students in the Creativity-in-Action course present their ideas, prototypes, informational posters, and persuasive pitches at Catalyst. Innovation Academy holds one showcase at the end of Summer A and one at the end of Summer B every year. The Innovation Academy invites members of the community, family, friends, fellow innovators and people passionate about innovation to attend.
Innovation Academy UF - Century_Tower
Innovation Academy - Catalyst Challenge
Program Perks & Benefits
LIVE, LEARN, LEAD where INNOVATION thrives @ Beaty Towers
The IA Living Learning Community (LLC) at Beaty Towers is open to students admitted to the Innovation Academy, and allows students in the same academic program to live and study together year-round if they choose. The IA LLC aims to create an environment that invites opportunities for formal and informal interactions between residents, staff, and faculty through programs and activities that integrate in-class and out-of-class experiences.
+ 3D Printing
3D printing is available at UF libraries and at the Infinity Hall Fab Lab.
+ App Development
Mobile App Development Environment (MADE) at UF is a university initiative to provide students with the necessary equipment & training to develop app.
+ Competitions
IA students enter their ideas and creations into various competitions such as The Big Idea, MuniMod, and many more!
+ Incubation Space
UF encourages interested students to apply to use incubation space at the Gator-Hatchery or the Launchpad Scholars program to foster innovation and growth
+ Study Abroad
The fall semester off is ideal for study abroad, giving students a large window of time to work with when studying abroad and increased opportunities.
+ Employment
IA has caught the attention of many employers and leaders who have sought upper-level students to work for them full-time in the Fall when all other students return to campus or can only work part-time.
+ Internship Opportunities
IA offers a very successful Fall Internship program with local startup companies in Gainesville where students work in teams and earn 4 credits in the process. IA also offers an independent internship database to support students looking for opportunities nationally.
IA Summit - Innovation Academy
Join Us
Any prospective UF freshman can apply to the Innovation Academy Program as part of the University of Florida application. To apply to the Innovation Academy, freshman applicants should indicate interest in the Innovation Academy and complete the additional essay on their UF undergraduate admission application. For more information, visit
Support Us
The next generation of Gator Innovators need your support. Giving to the UF IA Innovation Fund is a unique opportunity to invest in a distinct new way of teaching and learning. This funding helps to provide immersive student experiences, curriculum development and materials, and co-curricular programming that move our vision forward in graduating innovators who utilize design thinking to solve global challenges through experimental and creative problem-solving. When supported, innovation blossoms: Support us today at:
UF Innovation Academy | 321 Infirmary Building | P.O. Box 117545 | Gainesville, FL 32611 | Phone: 352-294-1785 | Email:
linkedin | facebook | instagram: @ufinnovationacademy | twitter: @UF_IA |

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