Carolina brings innovative spirit, cutting-edge exhibits to Smithsonian festival

UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, students and staff recently joined with the 14 other universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the ACCelerate Creativity and Innovation Festival, where they shared the novel application of ideas and research. The three-day festival featured performances, discussions and 48 interactive installations at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Led by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, the UNC-Chapel Hill delegation represented some of the most cutting-edge Carolina-born ideas at an event that celebrates creative exploration and research across science, engineering, the arts and design. Carolina shared projects from a variety of schools, departments and programs, including the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, the UNC Be a Maker (BeAM) network and the Kenan Science Library, as well as showcased faculty innovations in 3D printing and beat making.

Here is a listing of the Carolina projects that were part of the program:

Advanced manufacturing in the new economy exhibit:

–Professor Joe DeSimone’s work in additive manufacturing at his company Carbon uses light and oxygen to grow manufactured parts and fabricate products 100 times faster than the current industry standard.

–Student non-profit Feelin’ DNA creates 3D-printed models to help visually impaired students learn about science.

–Nanotechnology for drug delivery relies on additive manufacturing of tiny structures to target medicines to tumors or micro-needles for painless transfer of medicine via the skin.

Simulations and machine learning in pharmacy exhibit:

–The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s use of serious gaming concepts enhances all phases of education and pharmaceutical research. Its nXhuman learning platform lets pharmacy students learn and practice interacting with virtual patients in an immersive environment before working with human patients.

Using cognitive intelligence and machine learning to fight cancer exhibit:

–UNC Lineberger Cancer Center’s research study with IBM Watson allows it to quickly analyze information from millions of medical papers that could be potentially relevant for individual patients based on their personal genetics.

Beat-Making with Next Level performance:

–Mark Katz, director of the UNC Institute for the Arts & Humanities, runs Next Level, an organization that collaborates with communities all around the world to use the art of music to communicate, teach and inspire. This performance featured beat artists, rappers, dancers and DJ’s interacting with the audience to create music that they employ in cultural exchange workshops around the world.

In addition, Theo Dingemans, professor of applied physical sciences, participated in a panel discussion that explored questions like: How does making relate to creative and inventive initiatives at research universities? What is the role of making in helping to break down silos between different scientific disciplines, the arts and social endeavors? How are today’s students using makerspaces to find solutions to real-world problems?

Read more about the ACCelerate Creativity and Innovation Festival at the Innovate Carolina website.
Published Oct. 27, 2017