Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre: Academy for Arts, Technology & the Business of Innovation at USC

A Music Mogul and a Rap Star walk into a University...

Music Industry Icons & Entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre

Music Industry Icons & Entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre

Veteren music executive-entrepreneur, Jimmy Iovine, and star rapper-turned-entrepreneur, Dr. Dre, are together donating $70 million to the University of Southern California (USC) to launch an extraordinary and innovative inter-disciplinary program.   This donation will establish an undergraduate academy that combines music and arts, engineering, computer science, design and entrepreneurship. The program will be called: "Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation."

This is an exciting development for our city of innovators with a history of connecting entertainment and technology.

 I'm hopeful that this program will inspire others like it, while further stimulating the growth of the Los Angeles area as a hotbed, not only for creativity, but also for technical innovations and transformative startup companies.

The goal of the program is not only to be interdisciplinary in concept but to encourage collaboration amongst disperate departments.  This may be a tall order given university interdepartmental norms, but money tied to vision has a way of cutting through bureaucratic prerogatives.

In announcing the program USC President, C. L. Max Nikias said:

"Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world."

Going beyond collaboration, he expects the Academy to be a catalyst for change, adding:

"We are committed to encouraging our students to use their intellectual and creative resources to effect change in all segments of society."

This unique approach attempts to not only to push the intellectual barriers to innovation, it is designed to nurture innovation by some of the best and brightest students who seek to combine their creative interests with engineering sensibility and the savvy of an entrepreneur.  This program does not appear to just be a reshuffling of the deck.  It appears to be a sincere attempt to promote alternative ways of thinking and collaborating to elicit changes in student thinking and innovations that could change the world.

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