Physicists possess a unique set of skills that make them invaluable members of R&D teams--particularly when translating cutting-edge research into viable products. However in the context of a small company or startup, physicists generally need additional training in entrepreneurship and innovation in order to be successful.
The Physics Entrepreneurship Master of Science Program (PEP) at Case Western Reserve University was created in 1999 in response to this need. Specifically, a significant number of Case physics graduates were involved in startups across the US, many of whom "wrote home" about the need for additional skills. The PEP curriculum is lean and flexible. Coursework consists of physics, business, intellectual property law, and innovation. PEP students are required to work as an intern, employee, or entrepreneur (i.e., starting their own company) on a real-world project that typically serves as the basis for the student's thesis.
In this talk, I will discuss how innovation and entrepreneurship can be taught, particularly within a physics department. I will also discuss various ways that CWRU physics faculty, research associates, postdocs, students, and staff are innovating through industry partnerships, company creation, and patent licensing.