About the Innovation Incubator

Innovation Incubator logoThe College of Arts and Sciences and ASSETT are sponsoring an initiative to promote active, engaging, and experiential learning through the use of technology. The Innovation Incubator is funding four multi-year projects that involve students, faculty, and staff across the divisions of Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences.

An incubator is exactly what it sounds like: A safe, nurturing environment in which to grow something new — like an innovative idea! The ASSETT Innovation Incubator is a three-year pilot (AY 2019-2022) with a goal to infuse our educational efforts with technology to achieve an active, experiential, and research-based approach to learning.

Our Mission: The mission of the ASSETT Innovation Incubator is to improve the undergraduate experience by getting students out of their seats and into active learning.

Our Vision: We envision a diverse community of learners — composed of students, faculty, and staff — who are engaged in purposeful, collaborative, creative, and impactful learning experiences.

Our Community Values

  • Experimentation: Calculated risk-taking leads to unexpected discovery that can generate new knowledge and new ways of doing.
  • Failure: Valuable insights are gained and exciting new directions taken when things “don’t work."
  • Emergence: New ideas need time to develop — oftentimes unexpectedly through both undetectable evolution and surprising bursts.

Successful ASSETT Innovation Incubator projects will:
  • Promote active and/or experiential learning.
  • Help students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside of a traditional academic setting
  • Cross disciplinary boundaries
  • Integrate technology with pedagogy to promote impactful learning
  • Scale to be supported eventually across the college
  • Impact undergraduate students.

An incubator typically provides a specific set of resources to new projects in a similar stage of growth. The ASSETT Innovation Incubator provides these key resources to participating Arts & Sciences faculty:
  • Project grant funding, including individual professional development awards
  • Thought partnership within a supportive community
  • Visibility on campus and beyond with potential university and/or community partners
  • Research and publication support
  • Support to pursue further project funding.

Over the three-year funding period the ASSETT Innovation Incubator is shaped by the input and experience of participants. Formation of the incubator will be implemented by ASSETT staff, including the Innovation Catalyst in the following areas:
  • Communications and networking within and across faculty teams and across campus and beyond
  • Implementation of team projects via design thinking activities, faculty development, team meetings, support for student involvement, and community convenings
  • Research to inform both the development of the incubator itself as well as within the domain of each team project to develop and deliver open workshops within each domain
  • Building sustainability infrastructure to provide a runway for both the incubator and the team projects including seeking grants and other types of funding, as well as permanent homes for projects and/or project activities on campus
  • Executing, documenting, and sharing assessment of the incubator itself as well as supporting each team to assess successes and setbacks in meeting their goals.


Learn More

For more information about the initiative, contact the project sponsors, David Brown or Mark Werner. Or, watch the recorded presentation below, delivered to CU Boulder's DBER (Discipline-Based Educational Research) community in April 2020 (running time: 55 minutes).

Meet the Teams

Learn more about each of the ASSETT Innovation Incubator teams by clicking the icons below.