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H A P P E N I N G H E R E S U M M E R 2 0 1 7 U o f L M A G A Z I N E | 1 7 RESEARCH & ACADEMICS UOFL RECEIVES GRANT TO HELP WOMEN, MINORITY INNOVATORS UofL, Indiana University and Missouri University of Science and Technology are teaming up to help faculty, staff and student innovators from underrepresented populations better their chances of securing money to commercialize their inventions. A $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the pilot program, called "AWARE: ACCESS: Building Innovation Capacity through Di- versity." It aims to help women and minorities pursue entrepreneurship by expanding their learning and networking opportunities and making them more competitive for federal grant applications. Currently, less than 16 percent of such grants go to businesses owned by women and minorities, but the partner universities hope to change this by cooperating to create a regional ecosystem beneficial to these potential entrepreneurs. "Women and underrepresented researchers have great ideas that need to be translated into the mar- ketplace," said Rob Keynton, UofL's director of research initiatives and lead investigator of the program. "Unfortunately, these innovators have had limited success in securing federal business grants and other funding. We hope to change that with this new program." COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Public health and local art leaders collaborate Photo courtesy of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. UofL's Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky (CIK) and the city's IDEAS xLab will collaborate to solve social and health issues through arts and culture. CIK is part of UofL's School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Their mission is to inform policy and practice that will improve the health of populations in Kentucky and beyond. IDEAS xLab is a Louisville-based artist innovation company that trains artists as social entrepreneurs who help create equitable places and nurture healthy communities. Together they will create a Center for Art + Health Innovation within the CIK to help Louisville become a national training site for the improvement of community health through art. "One of the greatest challenges in public health is authentically con- necting with communities, as well as communicating effectively," said Monica Wendel, director of the CIK and associate dean for Public Health Practice at UofL. "Our best science is relatively useless if we can't make it accessible and actionable for people. Arts and culture provide us with the language necessary to foster mutual understanding." "We believe artists are a catalytic force who shape and influence our cultural, political and economic environments," said Theo Edmonds, co-founder of IDEAS xLab. "They have the ability to make new options visible, and with the right training and support, can (re)introduce humanity into policy discussions and shift how commu- nity members define and advocate for their health and well-being." CIK researchers will help develop an evidence-based model on the influence of arts and culture on population health. "CIK and IDEAS xLab have our eyes on the same goal: social justice and health equity. We are bringing our unique skill sets together to advance that goal in a creative way," Wendel said.

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