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Leaders in Higher Education To Showcase Innovative Approaches To Address Global Challenges

“ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival” Is Presented by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology

At the forefront of innovation and creativity, the 15 universities of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will come together for the first “ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival,” Oct. 13–15 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The festival will showcase cutting-edge technologies that draw upon art, science and humanities to address global challenges.

Presented by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, the three-day festival will provide an opportunity for visitors to engage with leading innovators of creative exploration and research at the nexus of science, engineering, arts and design.

“The ACCelerate festival is perfectly aligned with the ACC’s vision of being at the forefront in educational achievement and innovation,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “I applaud this outstanding initiative that showcases the incredible work taking place at our 15 member institutions.”

The event is free and provides the ACC’s member institutions an opportunity to display their work to each other and, more importantly, to the public. Student performances, conversational talks and interactive exhibits will feature digital humanities projects, musical performances and creative art displays, 3-D printing, robotic processes and multimedia exhibitions, among others.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to partner with the Smithsonian to showcase the most creative and inspiring work happening across all of the universities in the ACC,” said Ben Knapp, director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech. “In particular, we’re pleased to bring a collection of premier Virginia Tech projects that are living examples of how the university fuses science, engineering, art and design to craft innovative approaches to real-world challenges.”

In addition to the 47 featured interactive installations, the festival will include panel discussions and performances throughout the three days around six thematic areas:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Arts and Technology
  • Sustainability and Environment
  • Biomimetics
  • Health and Body
  • Making and Advanced Manufacturing

“The Lemelson Center is focused on empowering the public to solve problems, navigate challenges and effect real change in their lives and communities,” said Jeff Brodie, deputy director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. “We view the partnership with the ACC institutions as a wonderful opportunity to connect incredible innovators with the public who will be inspired to think about invention in new and dynamic ways.”

For more information about the schedule, performance descriptions and exhibitions, visit www.acceleratefestival.com.

About the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
The Lemelson Center engages, educates and empowers the public to participate in technological, economic and social change. The center undertakes historical research, develops educational initiatives, creates exhibitions, and hosts public programming to advance new perspectives on invention and innovation and to foster interactions between the public and inventors. The Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation, featuring Draper Spark!Lab, “Places of Invention” and “Inventive Minds,” is a signature part of the National Museum of American History’s 45,000-square- foot space centered on the theme of innovation. For more information, visit http://invention.si.edu.

About Virginia Tech
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers more than 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

About the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 65th year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 27 NCAA sports – 14 for women and 13 for men – with member institutions located in 10 states. For more information, visit theACC.com and follow @theACC on Twitter and on Facebook (facebook.com/theACC).

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