News Releases

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

September 26, 2017

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 the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, 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 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.”

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.

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

For more information about the schedule, performance descriptions and exhibitions, please 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 the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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).

Media only 
Laura Havel, Smithsonian
(202) 633-3312
havell@si.edu

Amy Yakola, ACC  
(336) 369-1215
ayakola@theacc.org

Shannon Andrea, Virginia Tech
(571) 858-3262
sandrea@vt.edu

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