IT Innovation and Research


The Innovation and Research team within Information Technology is on mission to lead, coordinate, and facilitate the discovery and exploration of emerging technologies and innovative solutions that catalyze digital transformation (DX) at Grand Valley State University.

Collaborating with key stakeholders, the team will endeavor to catalyze transformation, serve as a change agent, and build a robust portfolio of solutions, services, and resources that are purposefully designed to:

  • Further academic and research initiatives
  • Facilitate quality digital education
  • Enhance the learner experience
  • Encourage a culture of innovation
  • Build the next generation of teaching and learning spaces
  • Support the University’s mission and strategic priorities

Our goal is to develop and nurture strong working relationships across the GVSU community, including partnerships with business leaders and technology experts across the University, state, and nation through a rich "Education Futures Collaboratory and Ecosystem" to help shape the future of education.

Our focus is to:

  1. Generate enthusiasm for new, emerging, and innovative technologies.
  2. Build confidence and generate adoption of new ideas and models powered by technology by facilitating experimentation, increasing early adoption participation, promoting influencers, and celebrating successes.
  3. Scale up deployment through awareness, collaboration, and generating communities of practice, laying the foundation for digital transformation.

Education Futures Collaboratory and Ecosystem

Navigating the complexities of continuous change requires dedication, agility, and experimentation to forge new paths as we adapt, discover big ideas, create new value streams, and bring them to scale. 

The Education Futures Collaboratory is a strategic initiative that catalyzes innovative change within GVSU through a rich ecosystem designed to promote new visions for the future of higher education.


  • Catalyzing change through a "center without walls", prompting discovery and design in the future of education, where research, collaboration, experimentation, and resources are facilitated throughout the ecosystem. 


  • Monitor and track evolving trends, collect and curate targeted research, wicked problem identification, innovative investigation, ideation, design thinking, and novel solution generation.


  • Space designed to accelerate and incubate ideas, explore future experimental faculty/student-focused technologies, and encourage exploration and experimentation in the design of the next generation of transformational teaching and learning environments. (X = eXplore, eXperience, eXperiment) 
Innovation Ecosystem with Research, X Studio, X FabLab, Technology Showcase, and Events in a Pie Chart - Image content available on page


  • Future planned space, designed to generate prototypes, and to invent the future, featuring fabrication, design, and digital production. 


  • Space to interact, discover, learn, and share how technology can transform teaching, learning, and research. The focus of the showcase is to encourage exploration of emerging technologies through exhibits. 


  • Events, summits, popups, meetups, hack-a-thons, make-a-thons, learn-a-thons, bootcamps, summer camps, startup weekends, are intended to engage, convene, inspire, influence, and ignite large audiences around theme/trend-based "Digital-EDU" activities, including collaboration with internal and external partnerships.
  • Connecting current students, faculty, staff, alumni, K-12, community, organizations, as well as local business and industry memberships and partnerships.
  • Current Memberships: Info-Tech Research Group, ETOM (Educational Technology Organization of Michigan), EDUCAUSE

Add your Voice to the Community of IT Innovation and Research

  • Interested in sharing an idea to: eXplore, eXperience, or eXperiment?
  • Excited about lowering the barriers for exponential impact?
  • Focused on accelerating change and creating a future-ready campus?
  • Wanting to get plugged into the innovation pipeline?
  • Desiring to explore an idea to add value and transform the university yet need a catalyst?
  • Looking for opportunities to reduce friction, remove inefficiencies, solve challenges, and improve the education journey at GVSU?

Don't venture forward alone, join us! Reach out to our IT Innovation and Research team, and let's partner together in a journey to imagine, reach higher, and create the next-generation of education.

Eric Kunnen

Eric Kunnen
Senior Director, IT Innovation & Research

Participate with us in Pioneering the Future!

Give Today

Supports the discovery, exploration, and acquisition of innovative and emerging, state-of-the-art technology to help pioneer the future, catalyze digital transformation, and to facilitate the next generation of teaching and learning.

IT Innovation and Research - In the News

Here are a few media and newsworthy highlights from the work of the Innovation & Research area, X►STUDIO, and the TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE:

Emerging Technologies



Visited the TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE as part of curricular experience or assignment.


Toured the TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE since August 2015.

Innovative Technologies

eXplored, eXperienced, eXperimented and researched in the X►STUDIO.

Transforming education through innovation...

Page last modified November 30, 2023