Crosscutting Themes

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, equitable education and social justice are crosscutting topics that will be deliberately integrated into all aspects of the collaboration. There is a significant gap in the representation of minority groups in engineering and professional-technical areas. This collaboration intends to connect students from underrepresented groups with IBM and Illinois mentors through research, education, internship and service efforts.


The IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute will include entrepreneurship education on identifying stakeholders, identifying stakeholder's needs, value propositions, customer discovery, financial management for engineers, intellectual property management, creativity, leadership, and communication and presentation. Existing Illinois programs such as Alchemy Foundry may be extended to work with IBM researchers in identifying a technology or challenge and create student teams to build commercially deployable solutions. These solutions could form the basis for a start-up company or translated to IBM or other industry segments with potential returns to IBM and the university.