Lehigh's award-winning Integrated Product Development (IPD) program gives juniors, seniors and graduate students in engineering, business, and the design arts the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams with industrial sponsors to design, fabricate and produce new products for a global economy.
Since it was founded in 1994, the IPD program has greatly expanded its opportunities for student entrepreneurs. IPD student teams have been awarded 11 grants by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), and several teams have exhibited their products at the NCIIA annual conference and have launched successful ventures.
The IPD program has been featured by U.S. News and World Report in a survey of the nation's best universities, and has been described by the New York Times as a model for the "workplace and its cross-disciplinary teams." The program won a curriculum innovation award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and has been featured in the Journal of the American Society of Engineering Educators. It received a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, an organization that specializes in promoting entrepreneurial programs at all levels of education, resulting in Lehigh's Entrepreneurial Network of students and alumni. In 2006 the program was awarded the NCIIA Olympus Award for curriculum innovation.