Indianapolis, IN

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About the Solution Center

The IUPUI Solution Center was created in 2004 through IUPUI funding and generous support from the Lilly Endowment. The Solution Center mission is to serve as IUPUI’s “Front Door” to the community to assist in the economic development of Central Indiana by connecting the university’s intellectual capital to the pressing demands of business, government, and the nonprofit sector. Drawing on the talent of IUPUI’s faculty and students, the Solution Center facilitates partnerships designed to build human capital, respond to external challenges, and retain the best and brightest baccalaureate and graduate degreed professionals in the state.

The cornerstone of the Solution Center’s work with the community is its ability to serve as a knowledgeable point of contact for thousands of businesses, nonprofit, and government leaders, connecting them to the talent and expertise of IUPUI for internships, community-based research, and service projects. Equally important to our success in the community is the IUPUI Venture Fund program that allows us to grant match funding to organizations in order to create and sustain meaningful, challenging, and career-relevant internships, research, and applied projects.


View Solution Center facilitated university-community partnerships in a larger map

In 2009, the Solution Center joined forces with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR). The center works in concert with OVCR to build the number of research opportunities available to students, faculty, working with community organizations and companies.

What We Do For Community

The Solution Center facilitates partnerships with Indiana nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies through the development of for-credit and noncredit opportunities, including internships, class projects, and outreach projects.

  • Internships: An internship is an opportunity to integrate career related experience into an undergraduate or graduate education by participating in planned, supervised work. In general, a good experiential learning opportunity will include a significant level of responsibility, be related to the student’s program of study and career goals, and provide a suitable mentor or supervisor who is expert in the field of the internship. The organization or business that creates an internship will gain in terms of the student’s talent and the capacity they bring to the organization, but should also be prepared to create a learning environment for the intern that may include networking opportunities, cross-training experiences, exposure to organizational goals and planning objectives, in addition to the intern’s primary internship responsibilities.
  • Class Projects: Practice-based education, an enduring hallmark of IUPUI, can take many forms, including class projects, independent study, capstone projects, and case studies. Class projects provide for-credit opportunities for students who work in close contact with a faculty member in his or her program. Projects are usually short term engagements that accomplish a finite set of goals, defined in partnership between the faculty member and the community partner.
  • Outreach Projects: Outreach Projects offer an organization and a student or faculty member the opportunity to engage with a small business or non-profit organization to respond to a short-term need. Projects do not provide the organization or the student the same level of contact and direct involvement as an internship, due to the short-term nature of projects. However, outreach projects often are an excellent solution to an organization’s need for training, information, technology assistance, etc.

What We Do For Faculty

  • Provide assistance in the process of brainstorming and coordination of experiential learning ideas and community-based projects.
  • Locate internal and external contacts and funding for community-based research.
  • Assist in identifying community organizations for class projects, case studies, or other initiatives.
  • Administer Venture Fund grant in order to seed and expand support for community-based research and projects.
  • Work with faculty members to develop and evaluate for community-based experiential initiatives.
  • Link faculty and courses to opportunities that advance IUPUI’s vision for RISE.
  • Create career and experiential learning mentoring opportunities.
  • Host annual events that showcase community-based research and projects and create connections between students and faculty and business, government, and nonprofit leaders.

Program Accomplishments

From 2004 – June 2013, the Solution Center coordinated:

  • 976 total community partners
  • 1,246 internship opportunities with community partners
  • 1,272 community and class-based or service projects
  • 207 faculty-led research collaborations
  • $2.59 million granted to community partners and researchers through the Venture Fund
  • $4.09 million leveraged in community match support for internships and projects

For more information, please contact an IUPUI Solution Center staff member.

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