Innovation & Outreach Opportunities

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Heinz College is proud to support several innovation and development outreach arms. From economic development to social innovation, Heinz College outreach platforms provide unique experiences for our students, as well as tangible benefits for community partners. Our faculty and students partner on the following initiatives with the goal of creating a lasting impact on these distinct areas of focus.

Heinz College has an international reputation for the quality of its research. Our interdisciplinary environment creates exciting opportunities for collaboration and produces a breadth of research work not typically found in schools of our size.

Carnegie Mellon University's Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund (OFEF), administered by the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has always supported startup companies to help them grow their business ventures. Since the program's inception, 37 CMU-related startup companies have been awarded a total of $1,850,000.

Our faculty and research centers consistently receive funding support from government agencies, foundations and corporate partners, like the National Science Foundation; the Heinz Endowments; The Mellon Foundation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development; the Sloan Foundation and the National Institute of Justice.

We host or are closely associated with these Carnegie Mellon research centers:


A research center of Carnegie Mellon University's Master of Arts Management program, the Arts Management and Technology Laboratory (AMTLab) serves as an exchange, a catalyst for innovative ideas, and a conduit for knowledge circulating at the intersection of arts, management and technology.

AMT-Lab provides current and future arts managers, technologists, and researchers with existing best practices and emerging technologies that allow for a direct impact on their work and their organization. Through online and off-line engagement, AMTLab is a resource that leads to innovative, effective and efficient integration of technology in the cultural and creative enterprise space.

Center for Behavioral Decision Research (CBDR)

The Center for Behavioral Decision Research (CBDR) supports new and existing research in the realm of Decision Science at Carnegie Mellon. Behavioral decision research builds on the fields of psychology, economics, neuroscience, and public policy to answer applied and theoretical questions of decision making. These goals are met through the Center's seminar series, small grants program, working paper series, and public experiment scheduling site.

Center for Economic Development (CED)

For over 22 years, the Center for Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College has conducted applied research to improve the institutions, communities, and economy of the Pittsburgh region. On September 30, 2009, its research mission was turned over to the students of Heinz College. Our students now have new and exciting learning opportunities in policy and practice via CED’s ten Executive Fellows, all top leaders for some of the most influential and innovative institutions involved in economic, community, and technology development in the region.

Center for the Future of Work (CFW)

The Center for the Future of Work at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College is dedicated to exploring the impact of disruptive innovation on all sections of society and to developing policy interventions that ensure the benefits of these innovations are more widely shared. Through the center, Carnegie Mellon University faculty and students will study the interaction between present and emerging technologies to develop intelligent public policy that will define the workplace of the future, and help workers of all skill levels participate more fully in the new opportunities and prosperity that innovation brings.


Advances in computer technology unfortunately come along with security vulnerabilities that can harm everyone from the home computer user to small businesses, large corporations and anyone dependent on the nation's telecommunications and financial systems. To counter that threat, Carnegie Mellon University has launched a security initiative designed to protect all computer users from interference by cyber terrorists and hackers. The interdisciplinary team that will make up CyLab includes more than 50 researchers and 80 students from Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, School of Computer Science, H. John Heinz III College and the CERT Coordination Center.

Event and Pattern Detection Lab (EPD Lab)

The Event and Pattern Detection Lab (EPD Lab) conducts research that will advance the state of art in large-scale pattern detection in multiple ways, including new statistical methods, new algorithms and data structures, and new machine learning methods. EPD Lab also brings applied statistical and computational techniques to solve societal problems. The lab is particularly focused on solving problems that benefit the public good, problems that range from public health and patient care, to law enforcement and urban analytics, to human rights and conflict. Some examples include - detecting emerging outbreaks of disease, predicting violent crime hot-spots, and using 311 call data to predict and prevent rodent infestations in Chicago. To learn more about EPD Lab's ongoing projects, please see this page.


iLab at Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College is an inter-disciplinary research center consisting of faculty and students from the Heinz College, the Department of Statistics, the Department of Machine Learning, the School of Computer Science and the Tepper School of Business.

Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA)

The Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA) at Carnegie Mellon University will conduct research into timely public policy and managerial questions raised by the emergence of digital distribution channels for entertainment content. IDEA is an interdisciplinary university-wide effort led by acclaimed CMU professors Michael D. Smith and Rahul Telang from the H. John Heinz III College.

Institute for Social Innovation

Established in 2006 and housed at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) is a multi-disciplinary institute providing CMU students, faculty, and researchers with a variety of applied learning opportunities to design, prototype, and launch financially sustainable ventures, projects, and policy initiatives for social good.

Living Analytics Research Centre

Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University has teamed with the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University to establish the Living Analytics Research Centre (LARC). The center draws on the cross-disciplinary strengths of SMU and CMU faculty and span the two university campuses. It is physically anchored at SMU’s School of Information Systems in Singapore and at Heinz College's iLab in Pittsburgh. The LARC develops new approaches to understanding consumer and social behavior that will benefit consumers, producers and distributors of digital goods and services.


Carnegie Mellon University has established Metro21 as a multi-disciplinary research and educational initiative. Its goal is to research, design, develop, deploy, and evaluate solutions to the challenges affecting the economy and quality of life in metro areas. Metro21 will explore deep synergies among sensing, analytics, evaluation methodology, and sustainable design, and will emphasize deployment. In addition to local partnerships in southwestern Pennsylvania, Metro21 also intends to reach out to other universities and metros to build a Metro21 Network of partners to research and deploy solutions that can be applied around the nation and the globe.

Program of Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society (PROGRESS)

The Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society (PROGRESS) seeks to undertake and disseminate research on issues related to gender equality and to develop partnerships with other organizations to help women gain equity in society. Women often suffer from gross economic inequities in society and PROGRESS strives to address these disparities by targeting young women to teach them the importance of negotiation and how to do it effectively. Working with partners that focus on young women, we hope to overcome socialized behaviors in them that may be hindering the progress of women as they become adults and enter the workforce.


Traffic21 is a multi-disciplinary research initiative of Carnegie Mellon University. Its goal is to design, test, deploy and evaluate information and communications technology based solutions to address the problems facing the the transportation system of the Pittsburgh region. Traffic21 will leverage Carnegie Mellon University’s leadership in relevant areas such as critical infrastructure, transportation access, transportation routing, human factors, artificial intelligence, web applications and autonomous vehicles.