Scientific Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program 2020

Scientific Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program 2020

A Joint Program of

Rutgers Global Experiential Learning Summer Institute (GEL)

Ukrainian-American Concordia University (UACU) of Kyiv, Ukraine

The Ukrainian-American Concordia University (UACU) of Kyiv, Ukraine, and the Global Experiential Learning Institute at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA jointly conduct the Scientific Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. The foundation of the Program is based on learning techniques of Advanced Manufacturing and applying these to entrepreneurial activities. The program combines science and innovation with business and economics and culminates in the award of a Certificate signed by both Universities.

The Global Experiential Learning Summer Institute is an interdisciplinary summer study opportunity that connects students from around the world with renowned Rutgers faculty to collaboratively explore solutions to real world challenges. Under faculty mentorship, students will spend three weeks living on-campus at Rutgers University and will be a part of a rigorous research and entrepreneurial environment in conjunction with the Rutgers Makerspace – a state-of-the-art rapid prototyping facility.

Students will have full access to work with the latest Automated Rapid Manufacturing Technology in a State-of-the-Art Facility.

The Rutgers Makerspace facility is a 3,000 square meter flagship experiential learning and workforce development hub for Rutgers faculty, staff, students and the local community.  Over $2M in equipment includes 3D printers, 3D Scanners, Laser Cutters, and an Arduino Platform (Hardware and Software for Designing Products, Games and Services) and advanced Data Analytic Systems, a Wood Shop, Metal Shop, Auto Bay, Welding, CNC, Graphics, Textiles, Arts & Crafts and Commercial Kitchen.  Participants will learn by using tools and equipment to translate their ideas and designs into physical objects.

Program activity is designed around teams of 4 students each, working together on a group project that will be presented at the end of the program to Rutgers and UACU faculty. Team projects focus on solving a problem or creating an opportunity through innovation and entrepreneurship that is potentially profitable, economically sustainable and socially responsible.

A pre-departure course will be offered, in which students will have an opportunity to test their innovation ideas, form Innovation Teams, and be fully prepared for the summer program. Students will develop an idea, develop a general business plan, and pitch the innovation idea to other students and teams. Students will be prepared to work with Rutgers faculty to more fully develop and implement their innovation idea at the Rutgers Makerspace during their program.

Pre-departure Course: Day 1

Introduction to the Program and the Rutgers Makerspace Facility

Presentation: Paul Thomas: Industries of the Future and the Future of Work

Presentation: Sergei Vakarin: Makerspaces in Ukraine

Presentations: Dr. Natalia Protsun and other UACU Faculty:

  • Startup skills
  • IT skills
  • Design Thinking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Team building

Pre-departure Course: Day 2


  • Determine which innovation ideas will be pursued and the problem your innovation is intended to solve, the benefits it will provide to people, and what skill sets are needed in Innovation Team members for the idea to succeed
  • Formation of Innovation Teams
  • Short Presentation by each Team to pitch their Innovation Idea

Program Schedule

Program duration is three weeks of instruction and group activities and three weekends of cultural activities and tours to New York City, Philadelphia and other locations.

Day 1, Friday Fly to Newark, New Jersey, Move into Student Housing Rutgers Campus
Saturday Program and Campus Orientation
Sunday Tour of Thomas Edison National Historic Park
Monday-Thursday Project Design and Prototyping under mentorship of Rutgers faculty and subject matter experts
Friday Entrepreneurship consultations under mentorship of UACU faculty
Saturday Tour to New York City, optional
Sunday Free Time
Monday-Thursday Project Design and Prototyping under mentorship of Rutgers faculty and subject matter experts
Friday Entrepreneurship Consultations under mentorship of UACU faculty
Saturday Tour to Philadelphia, optional
Sunday Free Time
Monday-Wednesday Project Design and Prototyping under mentorship of Rutgers faculty and subject matter experts
Thursday Innovation Teams preparation for final presentations
Friday Innovation Teams Project Presentations
Saturday Certificate Ceremony and Program Celebration
Day 24, Sunday Fly to Kyiv, Ukraine


Innovation Subject Areas

When enrolling in the Program, students will choose an “Innovation Subject” of interest from the list given below, indicating a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Students may request an Innovation Subject not on the list and if there is sufficient interest from other students in that Innovation Subject, it may be possible to accommodate the request.

When enrollment is closed, a preliminary list of the most popular Innovation Subjects will be prepared. Prior to departure for Rutgers University, Student Project Teams will be formed based on mutual interest in each Innovation Subject. Supporting information, data and a suggested reading list on each Innovation Subject will be provided in advance of departure.

Biomedical Sensors: The age of wearable technologies is upon us – miniaturization has allowed us to monitor our health with our jewelry, clothing, athletic equipment, and more. Using accurate yet inexpensive biosensors and the Arduino platform, we explore how technology can increase health awareness and save lives.

Agribusiness: The growth of the world’s population in comparison to our rate of fresh food production is a challenge in ensuring food source sustainability. Through implementation of technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors deployed throughout the supply chain from farm to consumer, the agribusiness industry in all countries can better ensure the future of the food production market.

Sustainability: Our need to harness renewable energy sources is rapidly rising as we continue to consume unsustainable amounts of energy from the environment. As technology advances, numerous innovation opportunities are arising to reduce the carbon footprint by diversifying and better managing energy consumption, increasing business opportunities based on product recycling and biodegradability, and developing methods to better manage our usage and waste.

Urban Development: There is a great need to reassess how governments develop and maintain their infrastructure and analyze risk, especially given the challenges of climate change and population growth. Technological innovation is addressing such urban challenges as traffic management, energy production and distribution, environmental health monitoring, bridge and road repair analysis, wastewater and stormwater runoff treatment, connectivity and communication, and other urban challenges.

Retail:  For students with a strong interest in retail marketing, the world of consumer preference and marketing strategies are explored through product innovation by making a custom fragrance soap as an example product.  Students will use mixers, extruders, and soap bar presses to manufacture sample soaps.  Students will then design consumer friendly packaging for their soap product, conduct focus group analysis, and design a marketing campaign.

Food and Fashion: Students with a strong interest in retail product innovation will design either a food product or a fashion garment.  Equipment available will be a commercial kitchen with 3D food printing or a textiles center with automated industrial sewing equipment and embroidery machines.

Small Farm Innovation and Implements:  In many developing counties, nearly 90% of the food production occurs on small plots of land (less than 4 hectares) and typically by a single owner or family.  Access to appropriately-scaled technology for improving water and soil quality, farm management, or productivity-enhancing crop sensors or equipment, is applicable in many countries throughout the world. Students will work on prototype development to address one of these small-scale production challenges.

Autonomous Vehicles:  From self-driving cars to automated delivery vehicles, this is an industry experiencing rapid innovation and business opportunities. Students will use a pre-built radio-controlled car, at scale, and by using the Arduino platform and a variety of sensors, will manage vehicle use. A track will be constructed to allow for testing of collision avoidance, obstacle maneuvering and other autonomous vehicle challenges. 

Student-Proposed Innovation Subject

Students are encouraged to submit their ideas and preferences for work in an Innovation Subject area of particular interest.

Application and Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment is designed for students enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree program at UACU and also encourages applications from students enrolled in a Bachelor’s or equivalent Degree program at any of Ukraine’s engineering, IT or other related universities. Enrollment is limited to 20-25 students. Master Degree students or recent graduates with a Bachelor’s degree may also apply to become Team Leaders.

Students may apply any time prior to March 1, 2020.  An application form may be obtained from and subsequently submitted to the UACU Administrative office. Students not enrolled at UACU must submit proof of passing the UACU English language placement exam, and provide a complete transcript of courses studied and grades earned at their universities through the most recent completed semester of study. Acceptance to the Program will be based entirely on the submitted application information, grade level performance, English language proficiency, and level of demonstrated interest. If necessary, an in-person interview may be requested by UACU administration.

Program Dates

The 2020 Program has a tentative departure date of Friday July 10, returning on Sunday August 2, 2020. These dates are subject to minor change as travel arrangements are finalized.


Students will live in Rutgers University on-campus student, housing located approximately one mile from the Makerspace facility.

Program Cost

The cost of all academic and cultural activities, on campus housing and transportation within the U.S. is $2,795 (U.S. Dollars) per student. International air travel, food and miscellaneous expenses are additional. International air travel will be arranged on a group discount basis to ensure the lowest possible cost.

Travel and Visa Requirements

  • Students will travel exclusively in a group to and from Rutgers University
  • Students must be over the age of 18
  • Proof of health insurance is required for the duration of your stay



Primary: Dr. Natalia Protsun, email:

Secondary: Mrs. Olga Glazova, email:

For Rutgers University:

Primary:  Stephen Carter, email:

Secondary:  Louli Kourkounakis, email: