From technological advancements and innovations to industries converging and colliding, there’s no doubt that today’s workforce is emersed in a world of accelerating change. No matter the challenges, a demand that remains steadfast within industries is the growing need for strategic-oriented managers of science, technology and innovation. To meet this rising demand, SC Innovates®, the SmartState® Center for Innovation + Commercialization, has proudly launched its new graduate program, the Strategic Innovation Certificate.
Designed for working professionals and full-time graduate students alike, the Strategic Innovation Certificate prepares students to successfully navigate rapid technological changes and innovations across industries, helping businesses remain competitive within their arenas.
“When the vision for this Center was proposed in 2014, a key ‘raison d’être’ is to develop educational experiences designed with both business and non-business students in mind,” says Laura B. Cardinal, Ph.D., the SmartState Endowed Chair and director of the Center for Innovation + Commercialization.
The Strategic Innovation Certificate is offered at the Darla Moore School of Business. The program is comprised of three core strategic management courses and one elective that allow students to customize their education to support their own individual priorities. The core strategic management courses include Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation—aka “SMTI”; Strategic Planning; and Competitive Strategy Analysis.
“Students can build strategic innovation into their toolbox in many ways,” says Cardinal. “That’s because strategic innovation enhances competencies in data analytics, design thinking, cybersecurity, R&D, and the list goes on and on. For this reason, we structured the certificate in a way that inherently leads students to tailor their experience according to what matters most to them.”
Through the SmartState Program’s network of world-renowned scientists, the Strategic Innovation Certificate’s culminates with its capstone experience in which students undertake a semester-long project centered on cutting-edge technology. In the capstone’s pilot run, students collaborated with two SmartState Centers and two South Carolina companies to apply new technologies in aerospace manufacturing to prosthetic limbs.
“Innovation success is exceedingly important for students from all walks of life,” says Cardinal. “To me, the Strategic Innovation Certificate is more than fulfilling a promise I made UofSC. It is truly the manifestation of over 30 years researching, teaching, and working with managers in the area of innovation.”