George Mason University

News at Mason

Mason’s new Institute for Digital InnovAtion to be launched on June 23

June 19, 2020   /   by John Hollis

George Mason University will launch its Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA) on Tuesday, June 23. IDIA is the third of three university-wide institutes that together represent Mason’s strategic research priorities. At its launch, IDIA will support research totaling more than $100 million annually.  

The virtual event will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. via WebEx, with President-designate Greg Washington providing introductory remarks. Other speakers will include Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Mark GinsbergDeborah Crawford, Mason’s vice president for research, innovation and economic impact; Liza Wilson Durant, associate dean of strategic initiatives and community engagement at the Volgenau School of Engineering; and Paula Sorrell, associate vice president for innovation and economic development. 

“The launch of Mason’s Institute for Digital InnovAtion is a giant step forward,” Ginsberg said. “This important initiative will provide high-impact learning and research opportunities for our students and faculty, which will be highly consequential for the economy of the region and the vitality of our community.” 

A new headquarters for IDIA currently under development will transform the university’s Arlington Campus, co-locating the research and graduate education programs of Mason’s computing, law, business, public policy and engineering units, as well as the programs of the university’s private- and public-sector partners. When complete in 2024-25, the mixed-use headquarters will house more than 1,200 entrepreneurs, researchers, technologists and business leaders on the vibrant Rosslyn-Ballston innovation corridor.  

Even when built, the IDIA headquarters will house no more than 50% of the IDIA community as the institute’s research and scholarship will be done across all of Mason’s campuses. 

“The IDIA has been developed to help Mason faculty and students and their partners shape the future of our digital world,” Crawford said. “From the scholarship and practice of faculty and students in arts, business, education, humanities, law, public health, and public policy whose insights will help ensure that technologies and their implementations are accessible in ways that support equity, justice and inclusive prosperity, to the cutting-edge research of faculty and students in computing, engineering, mathematics and science who are developing new tools, technologies, models and systems, IDIA will harness the collective talent and creativity of Mason’s entire community and their many partners.” 

Mason first announced plans in late 2018 to transform its Arlington Campus in conjunction with Amazon’s decision to locate Amazon HQ2 in Arlington. The university has pledged to invest more than $360 million over the next five years to grow the number of students graduating from computing programs, hire new faculty and expand research and innovation in high-tech fields to support inclusive economic growth and prosperity.

Those interested can register here.