The academic experience for students in the PRIME program is enhanced through learning reinforcement and direct experience in a semester-long co-curricular Internship that is completed during the course of the Program. The internship consists of embedded experiences at businesses that align to the students’ sector of interest (healthcare, cleantech, data sciences, fintech etc.), and focuses on challenges identified by the firms agreeing to take student teams.
The Internship experience is a required activity that constitutes an important part of a course and informs the overall program experience. The internships vary between “on-site” or “virtual”, depending on the location of the companies and how well they align with student interests. Placing small teams of students in project-based work with local industry also has the mutually beneficial effect of connecting more local businesses to Brown and furthering Brown’s engagement in “Innovation Economy” efforts.
PRIME will place teams of 2-3 students at firms for 8-10 hours per week per student during the Fall and Spring term. A core objective of the program is to function as an “experiential learning” component augmenting key lessons and learning objectives of ENGN2150 and ENGN2160 (both mandatory for enrolled students). This two class sequence develops students’ understanding of how technology and innovation can underpin high-value businesses and products. A key focus of these two classes is to create viable high-growth-potential ventures either based on emerging science and technology, or around an unmet meet in the marketplace.
Students employed or engaged in a start-up venture will be able to use these activities in lieu of participating in the Internship, though this work is expected to be sufficiently challenging and the students are expected to meet the same academic goals as their classmates.
The mandatory PRIME Class ENGN2150 “Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization I”, develops students’ understanding of how technology and innovation can underpin high-value businesses and products. A key focus is how to create viable high-growth-potential ventures from emerging science and technology. Students spend the semester learning about new technologies and innovations, and imagining product implementations that utilize their unique and valuable attributes. They learn and deploy processes and analyses to build, or perhaps refute, a case for the market value of an innovation.
These technologies may be extremely early stage and unproven, or more fully developed with perhaps some embodiment already in the market. Many of these technologies are developed at research labs at Brown University, others are sourced through our relationships with outside entities.
One example of a recent such engagement is from Fall 2019, when we collaborated with Rhode Island-based Quick Fitting Manufacturing. A worldwide leader in high-tech “push-to-connect” fittings, valves, supply chains and controls, Quick Fitting has secured 54 US Patents on its unique push-fit technology. Under the mentorship of Quick Fitting’s executive team, PRIME students closely studied Quick Fitting’s intellectual property and developed a series of unique product concepts very different from the organization’s existing product offering. They subsequently conducted extensive top-down and bottom-up research to validate their ideas, and put together a plan to take these new ideas to market. The resulting evaluation of their IP and associated diligence was extremely valuable to Quick Fitting, as they developed their own long-term plans.
Our corporate partners recruit for entry-level business analyst, technology analyst, product and project management roles.