Helping stimulate creativity and innovation

Posted on December 2nd, 2014 by

Every year, E/M faculty member Bruce Johnson helps Gustavus students navigate a flagship innovation and creativity experience with the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Innovation Scholars Program was created in 2008 by retired Medtronic executive John Meslow. Eleven of the private Minnesota schools have either one or two teams in this annual program. The teams are supervised by Gustavus faculty and an MBA student from St. Thomas.  They are given a product or innovation in development at the Mayo Clinic to research and assess its market viability and potential applications.

Mayo scholars 2014-15

The program runs from October to March culminating with team presentations of their findings and recommendations at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

This is a unique opportunity to place students from a variety of disciplines at the interface of innovations in science and medicine and the fields of intellectual property, marketing and business development.

Bruce’s involvement is time-intensive, not only helping with some of the technical aspects of the project but with assisting students’ preparation to be in front of high level executives and to be able to clearly present ideas in a short amount of time. These are all transferable skill sets for students, and represent a signature, competitively-gained experience. While we would love to know what they are working on, the confidentiality agreements they all sign and honor is another real-world issue they experience– IP has significant value and students are suitably respectful of that value.

Left to right: Bruce; Xingzhu (Helen) Liu ’16 (Public Accounting & Psychology); Hanna Engebretson ’16 (Biology); Jacob Sterm ’16 ( Economic Analysis & Biology); Sophia Iaquinita ’15 (Nursing & Anthropology/Sociology); Chau M Le (St Thomas MBA candidate).


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