ACC Festival of Creativity and Innovation

    The University of Louisville is participating in the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival in Washington, D.C. on October 13-15, 2017, to be held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The festival will be a gathering of all institutions included in the ACC to celebrate creativity and innovation. It is estimated that the event will draw 25,000 visitors.

    Faculty, staff and students (graduate and undergraduate) are encouraged to submit engaging and compelling innovation projects, with supporting media, that highlight the research and teaching impact of the excellent work being done here at UofL. This is an opportunity to showcase our institution in a public domain and at a national level. Projects that are inter/trans-disciplinary in nature are highly encouraged.

    Projects will be evaluated based on completion/readiness and potential to actively engage and attract the festival audience. UofL will forward up to 5 proposals to the ACC festival steering committee for curation in combination with the projects selected from other ACC schools.

    The deadline for submission of project proposals is December 19th, 2016. Proposals may be submitted through the form found at this link:

    For more information, contact Paul DeMarco, Ph.D., Graduate School, at or (502) 852-0788.

    More information about the festival is provided below.

    ACC Festival of Creativity and Innovation

    The member institutions of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History propose to develop an Innovation and Creativity Festival to be held in the fall of 2017.

    The festival would be a celebration of creative exploration and research happening across the ACC at the nexus of science, engineering, arts and design (SEAD). In collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, this will take place at the National Museum of American History, primarily in the Lemelson Center of Invention and Innovation on the mall in Washington, DC. The conservative estimate is that the 3-day festival will attract 25,000 visitors, the largest event of its kind in the ACC. Similar to other festivals of creativity and innovation, such as South by Southwest, the 15 ACC schools will participate by submitting up to 5 projects ranging from cutting edge technologies, to innovative businesses or ideas, social innovation projects, interactive installations or performances. All projects would need to demonstrate cutting edge transdisciplinary innovation.

    This will be an opportunity for ACC schools to showcase their work to other ACC schools, faculty, and students, but even more importantly, to potential ACC students and their parents, companies, and invited guests (government, NGO, etc.) from the Nation’s capital. The goal is to make this an annual ACC showcase and networking event. The event can also become the venue for an annual meeting of the ACC provosts.


    If fully funded the festival will include the following activities: 

    • Three day display (Friday-Sunday) and demonstrations of up to 60 projects from all 15 ACC schools to be placed throughout the three floors of the National Museum of American History.
    • 15-20 minute conversation and/or “TED” type talks on stage in the Coulter Plaza by festival participants
    • In partnership a two-day symposium hosted by the Lemselson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation developed jointly by the Smithsonian and ACC and featuring ACC scholars.
    • Evening events - including keynotes, Friday and Saturday receptions
    • In partnership with the Smithsonian hands-on education activities
    • Series of talks to match innovators with historical artifacts from within the Smithsonian archived collection
    • Possible combination with the ACC Meeting of the Minds and/or ACC Pitch Competition in the future