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Clarkson Invention Institute Seeks Project Proposals

The Clarkson University Invention Institute (CII) is still accepting proposals for future CII projects from faculty, students, individuals and businesses. Proposals are due Monday, July 2.

The projects can involve designing, building and testing a prototype. Past projects have included an all-wheel drive, all-steer bicycle; a racquetball training partner (RaPPy); an Internet-based arm wrestling device; a golf ball dispenser; and a car seat for disabled young adults.

Faculty, individuals and businesses proposing a project must agree to serve as adjunct faculty or as advisers for the project. An accepted proposal will be staffed according to the work in the proposal, with student workers and faculty mentors coming from the Clarkson community.

Each proposal must be typewritten, no more than two pages long, and include:

  • The project description.
  • The cost of the project and what resources the proposer will commit to it.
  • Known operating conditions (such as temperature limits) or criteria (such as weight or height) that constrain the design.
  • Any requested business consulting services associated with the product.
  • The ultimate disposition of the product.
  • A statement agreeing to be an advisor to the project staff if the proposal is accepted.
  • A contact name, mail address, phone number and e-mail address for this summer and the fall semester.

Projects must possess these general characteristics:

  • It must produce a product that services a real need.
  • It must be within the capabilities of students working with mentors.

Additional requirements may be imposed on proposals for certain courses. Projects proposed for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Senior Design course, for example, must be completed in one semester. A project proposed for the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department’s Integrated Design course must contain the following additional characteristics:

  • It must be a multi-disciplinary engineering project with sufficient functionality to occupy a team.
  • The product must be a physical device (i.e., not a computer program).
  • It must provide opportunities for mathematical modeling by the team.
  • It must provide opportunities to make use of Clarkson’s computer-aided engineering facilities.
  • A prototype must be tested and a final report submitted prior to the end of the spring 2002 semester.
  • It may include out-sourcing of services.

A signed copy of the proposal may be submitted to: Director, Shipley Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Development, Box 5764, Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y. 13699 by Monday, July 2, 2001.

For additional information on the program and how to apply, contact Fran Nelson, Shipley Center for Entrepreneurship, at 315-268-3811 or by e-mail at

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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