Innovation Week returns in person for first time since start of pandemic

April 22, 2022
Stephanie McGowan presents her idea to the Sharks at the MUSC Shark Tank during Innovation Week in 2019.
Stephanie McGowan, a physical therapist and assistant professor in the College of Health Professions, pitches an idea during a Shark Tank event in 2019. Photos by Sarah Pack

The fifth annual Innovation Week at the Medical University of South Carolina will kick off on April 25 and with it comes the return of the live version of the event. Hosted by the Office of Innovation, the event is designed as a week-long celebration of MUSC's culture of innovation meant to inspire and empower the MUSC community to innovate. 

“Innovation Week is a visible and tangible representation of the value that MUSC places on innovation,” said Jesse Goodwin, Ph.D., chief innovation officer at MUSC. “It's meant as both a celebration of our accomplishments and as a source of inspiration of our future potential.”

Festivities will begin on Monday, April 25, at the Urban Farm. There, the first 50 attendees can pick up some Innovation Week gear and a ticket for a King of Pops treat or bag of kettle corn that will be offered during the Innovation on the Greenway event scheduled for the next day. 

Afterward, the week will continue with back-to-back sessions in the Bioengineering Building, Room 112, and will include opening remarks from MUSC leadership as well as awards and recognition for participating students and faculty members.

Winding up the day, students will be pitching their ideas for research grants in a virtual session that is open to all at 2 p.m. 

A staple of Innovation Week, the Charleston poster session will be held on Tuesday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on the Greenway, where visitors will review ideas submitted by MUSC employees and students and select which should be evaluated at the Shark Tank event on Thursday, April 28. 

People do relaxation exercises to try to Weed Out Stress at the Urban Farm. 
A relaxation session during Innovation Week in 2019.

In addition to the Charleston poster session, for the first time, MUSC’s Regional Health Network sites will host their own poster sessions. Florence and Marion will do a combined event in Florence on April 25. Lancaster and Chester will host theirs in Lancaster on April 27. 

“It's important to see MUSC as a system and for us to be inclusive when working to build a culture that expands off of the peninsula,” said Goodwin. “I can't wait to see the ideas and projects pitched by the Florence, Marion, Lancaster and Chester teams.”

An MUSC NetID is needed to view and vote, and voting closes at 5 p.m. 

While Lancaster and Florence host their poster sessions on Wednesday, an interactive discussion on artificial intelligence in biomedical equipment will be held in the Drug Discovery Building from 1-2 p.m.

For those looking to decompress, Thursday will offer the “Stress Less Bash,” at the Urban Farm, where all faculty, staff and students can drop by to enjoy live music, games, stress-relieving activities, refreshments and more. 

Thursday will also mark the return of the live hosting of Shark Tank. This fun-filled annual event features teams that have been chosen as finalists pitching their ideas to a panel of MUSC’s executive leaders for an opportunity to win bragging rights and funding to support the development or scaling of their concepts. The finalists are selected from the submissions to the Innovation Week poster session. After going virtual last year, the event – and the mascot – will be in the Storm Eye Auditorium from 2-4 p.m. 

Meanwhile, the Regional Health Network sites will be hosting their own Shark Tank events for the first time as well. Florence and Marion will host a combined event at the Florence Floyd Conference Center, from 10 a.m.-noon., on April 27. Lancaster and Chester will also combine for their own session at the Lancaster Medical Theatre, from 2-4 p.m., on April 27. 

The week will conclude on Friday with a virtual keynote address by Jeff Borden, chief academic officer of D2L, a global software company that created the online learning platform Brightspace. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how to make tomorrow’s learning start today as we build “Education 3.0” and create an atmosphere for better learning year after year. 

“I believe the week and its events are important demonstrations of MUSC's commitment to building a culture of innovation,” said Goodwin. “The poster session is a way for our MUSC family to share their ideas and existing work on solving pain points in a manner that garners attention by colleagues and leaders. Shark Tank is a fun way to show that MUSC’s most senior leaders are seriously committed to considering and supporting ideas being brought forth by those that work here.”

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