A message on innovation and entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins

Dear Johns Hopkins Community,

This is an exciting moment for innovation and entrepreneurship at research universities, especially Johns Hopkins. Discovery and entrepreneurial endeavor are converging in unprecedented ways. Investigators are moving more easily along a spectrum between basic and applied research, and urban universities like ours are increasingly playing a role as igniters of economic growth in our communities.

At Johns Hopkins, we have been asking what the future of innovation and entrepreneurship looks like across our university. Deeply informed by our sense of mission and our legacy of restless, bold discovery, we have reshaped and expanded our university’s innovation initiatives.

In August 2013, School of Medicine Dean Paul Rothman and I asked a faculty-led committee to consider our innovation ecosystem, its assets and its potential to support our scholar-inventors. The committee heard a resounding call from our faculty and students about the opportunities they see for us to do even more to help them bring their best ideas to people’s lives. In May 2014, this faculty committee issued a final report that set out 22 specific recommendations to bolster our ability to answer that call.

At our new Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures website, you will find the committee report, as well as a university implementation plan that sets out a blueprint with a detailed set of commitments for how we plan to move forward in this arena.

You can also learn about some of the progress we’ve made to date, including:

FastForward East – We recently opened this interim space for innovation activities in East Baltimore that builds on the success of the Whiting School of Engineering’s original FastForward accelerator next to the Homewood campus.
DreamIt Health – We partnered with this accelerator that supports health information technology start-ups to bring nine teams of entrepreneurs (including five from Johns Hopkins) to Baltimore.
Social Innovation Laboratory – We invested in this incubator for enterprises dedicated to tackling pressing social issues in Baltimore and in communities around the globe.
Johns Hopkins Entrepreneurship Boot Camp – We launched our first boot camp for entrepreneurs to provide our community with the knowledge and skills to turn raw ideas into market-ready endeavors.
From the nexus of life sciences discovery in East Baltimore, to the studios of the Peabody Institute, to the labs and classrooms of the Krieger, Whiting, and Carey Schools, Johns Hopkins is seizing new opportunities to amplify the humanity, curiosity, and creativity that are hallmarks of our enterprise. As we do, we will continue to change the world for the better.


Ronald J. Daniels