The Internet Ecosystem Innovation Committee (IEIC) welcomes new founding academic member Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

VCU to play key role in the development of innovative curricula and experiential programs to expand the digital economy workforce essential to fulfilling IEIC's core mission

Dean Boyan holding samples of material for custom-made 3D-printed implants
Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. Dean of VCU College of Engineering. In one hand, Boyan is holding samples of material for custom-made 3D-printed implants made of a titanium alloy, including examples with a complex bio-inspired geometry similar to the model of a spine in the other hand.

The Internet Ecosystem Innovation Committee (IEIC), an independent committee that promotes internet diversity and resilience through the formation of new global internet nexus points, today announced that Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has joined as a founding member.

Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. Dean of the VCU College of Engineering, will be representing the university alongside the IEIC's other founding members. Dean Boyan is an acclaimed researcher and entrepreneur. She is recognized internationally by peers as an expert in her fields. An industry leader and proponent of improving access to high-value education, she is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and is the co-founder of four companies. Previously, she was associate dean of research and innovation at the Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Engineering.

The IEIC's mission is to collaborate with communities globally to create new internet nexus points through partnership with local municipalities, academia and businesses. IEIC has identified Central Virginia as a region with the essential elements needed to demonstrate effective development and deployment of an advanced peering ecosystem.

Proper functioning and proliferation of the global internet as a central part of economic development and business success requires a cross-functional group of business and academic leaders to drive initiatives and assist with strategic planning. The internet requires networks to exchange traffic (peering locations). Reliance on only a few global peering locations creates risk and limits opportunity for more communities to participate in the internet's growth and economic potential. Furthermore, the shortage of a qualified workforce has become a growing issue that must be addressed to fully realize the IEIC's mission.

As a founding member of the IEIC, VCU's College of Engineering will assist in creating a curriculum to help grow a richer technology workforce. VCU will make recommendations that effectively modify and evolve existing higher education curricula and programs to meet increasing demand for highly skilled technology workers. This curriculum will more closely align the rising workforce with needs of the expanding digital economy.

"VCU, along with its business partners, is highly engaged in community outreach, making sure that young people, veterans and untapped technology regions have the awareness and tools to capture opportunities in the new digital economy," Boyan said. "We are proud to be a founding IEIC member and to further the creation of new curricula to support enterprises in their efforts to embrace the digital transformation with a workforce prepared for the future."

"We would like to welcome VCU as a Founding Academia Member of IEIC. As a premier research university, VCU is highly involved in economic development and the business community. Together, we will further enhance the student experiences and develop curricula gearing up the next generation of technology professionals," said Vinay Nagpal, secretary and executive director of IEIC.

The IEIC is an organization assisting the digital economy globally. In each community the IEIC will assist in incubating local chapters to sustain initiatives with a member of the core IEIC acting as a sponsor.