The Idea Factory

In a world awash with manufacturing capacity almost everything is being commodified.  Most products are competing with each other based on price.  In this globalized world it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish one product from another.  More and more businesses have come to the realization that design can provide a much needed competitive edge.  Thus design is no longer viewed as packaging or giving form to existing products but as adding value.  As a result design and innovation have become important to the competitiveness of a business.

In this context, the College of Architecture and Design together with the Department of Biomedical Engineering has created a place in which to innovate, invent and design: The Idea Factory.  The Idea Factory will provide an opportunity for individuals and teams to generate ideas, products and proprietary designs.  It will be an exciting, creative environment; it will inspire and encourage the development of ideas; it will create opportunities to develop intellectual property; it will be a magnet for the best and the brightest designers.

It is expected that there will be a considerable demand to participate in the Idea Factory by individuals and teams, by students and faculty, by single or multidisciplinary teams.  Membership in the Idea Factory will be determined on a competitive basis.  The facility will be well equipped and be open all year on a 24/7 basis.

Another attractive proposition is the potential for sharing in any royalties or other income from proprietary designs.  It is envisaged that any income generated would be split and act as an incentive to individual inventors and designers; it would also provide the institutional funds necessary to operate the facility.  It is anticipated that the Idea Factory will, over time, be equipped with the latest equipment needed to assist creative efforts.  It will be a combination of a lab and workshop.  The Idea Factory will be suited to brainstorming, design, rapid prototyping and testing.

The projects carried out in The Idea Factory will consist of two types:  one is composed of projects generated independently by individuals or teams; the other is made up of funded projects done in conjunction with industry.  The facility will have a small exhibit space which will be devoted to a display of ideas and products created at The Idea Factory.  This space is meant to inspire manufacturers, funding agencies, potential Idea Factory members as well as future students.

In short, The Idea Factory will be the most exciting place at NJIT.  It will be a magnet for the most creative minds on campus and provide a vibrant milieu for unleashing creative forces.  It will become one of the most prominent features of NJIT. It will also place NJIT at the forefront of aiding economic development.  It is anticipated that there will be close ties to the business incubators (EDC) run by NJIT.  The Idea Factory will provide continuous excitement and inspiration.  Membership in the Idea Factory should have particular appeal to our honors student population.

Creative environments are infectious.  An atmosphere of invention and design is conducive to the generation of original thought and ideas.  There will be planned as well as serendipitous synergisms.  Finally, The Idea Factory will provide a unique opportunity to channel creative talents and to take advantage of the inventive potential at NJIT.