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Bring your challenge to the Balboa Park innovation incubator

BP Tower

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is one of three institutions hosting an innovation incubator as part of a federal grant from the National Science Foundation focusing on how the arts can spark innovation in workforce development and 21st century STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

The incubators will apply arts-based techniques and STEM skills to civic innovation challenges drawn from issues proposed by the public.

Today, BPCP put out a call asking the San Diego community to submit their challenge ideas.

Challenges should be large enough in scope that multiple solutions can be developed and should require the application of STEM skills in deriving those solutions. You are invited to submit your civic innovation challenge ideas following the guidelines below.

Submissions are limited to one page or less. Please include the following information:

-- Describe your challenge

-- Explain why it is important to the San Diego region

-- Identify what stakeholders and communities are impacted or relate to this challenge

-- Suggest, in specific terms, how your concept may relate to STEM - is it in the nature of the challenge itself or through the solution?

The deadline to submit your concept by email to is Friday, November 30.

Five cross-disciplinary teams will develop solutions to the challenges selected. The teams will include artists, business leaders, students, educators, and other community members who will have learned arts-based techniques for developing creative ideas.

The call for submissions marks the beginning of a big, exciting project for the park. The $2.6 million initiative will further engage the public through innovation festivals, art/science innovation symposia, and prototype demonstrations linked to the incubators. In conjunction with Balboa Park's 2015 Celebration, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center will launch an exhibition featuring compelling stories about the civic impact of innovation at the intersection of art, science and learning. The interactive exhibition will launch with the 2015 Celebration and travel to the other incubator sites in Worcester, Mass., and Chicago.

Learn more on the BPCP website.


--Maren Dougherty