Nittany AI Advance Partnerships

Nittany AI Advance is a semester-long engagement with multi-disciplinary teams of 3–4 students working to develop an AI proof of concept through a low-cost, low-overhead process guided and managed by Nittany AI staff.

Partnerships with Nittany AI Advance are designed to flex around your organization’s resources, student engagement goals, and platform use. Typical projects span 10–12 weeks in the fall and spring semesters, and project direction varies based on your needs.

AI Proof of Concept

At the conclusion of an Advance engagement, partners can expect to receive an AI proof of concept. A proof of concept is evidence that demonstrates that an artificial intelligence solution to your business problem or need is feasible. A proof of concept often takes the form of white papers, presentations, demonstrations, or data sets. A proof of concept is not an out-of-the-box AI solution, but rather is the first step needed before an AI solution can be created and applied.

Partnership Process Overview

To begin a Nittany AI Advance project engagement, partners should be prepared to identify:

  • business goals
  • data sources and privacy implications
  • technology constraints
  • available resources to participate as client project lead, project sponsor(s), and subject-matter experts 

The Advance team will guide you through the entire partnership process. You can also find information about the partnership phases as well as deadlines for spring 2021 partnerships below.

Phase 1: Discovery

A partnership with Nittany AI Advance begins with the Discovery phase, when potential partners will meet with Strategic Partner Manager Andy Gatto and Executive Director Daren Coudriet to focus on defining goals for the project and setting expectations about the project outcomes. 

Examples of past Nittany AI Advance projects will be shared at the kickoff meeting, along with additional information to aid in setting expectations. Partners will be asked to complete a project-initiation form, which will be used to create the scope of work document draft, and will receive a contract template for initial review. 

Discovery Milestone

April 16, 2021: Partners receive scope of work draft

Phase 2: Ideation

The goal of the Ideation phase is to refine the project scope and definition and to ensure that the scope aligns with student capabilities and fits within the allotted 10–12 week timeframe. To further the refinement of project scope and definition, partners will be asked to complete a project-scope form. Upon completion of the project-scope form, the scope of work document is finalized and shared with partners for final approval. 

The Ideation phase also includes finalization and execution of a contract and transfer of funds to the Nittany AI Alliance.

Ideation Milestones

June 1, 2021: Scope of work is finalized; signed contract and funding received by Nittany AI Alliance

Phase 3: Onboarding

During the Onboarding phase, both the partner and Advance teams will focus on resource allocation and planning. Mid- and end-project reviews and bi-weekly sprint reviews will be scheduled, and specific individuals will be identified to fill required roles.

After the required roles for the project have been filled, a meet and greet will be scheduled for the project and partner teams to meet one another and conduct an initial data review where any additional project constraints will be discussed. Following the data review, partners will work with the Advance Program Manager on data preparation and transfer to ensure that data is ready for the student teams to begin work in the Execution phase.  

Onboarding Milestone

July 30, 2021: Data preparation and transfer complete

Phase 4: Execution

At the start of the semester, the Execution phase begins, and projects are broken into five two-week sprints using agile project methodology. Client project leads will meet at the conclusion of each sprint, and full project student and partner teams will meet for a mid-project review. The project concludes with a final presentation, which includes Penn State leadership.

Execution Milestone

August 23, 2021: Project kickoff

Discuss Partner Opportunities

If you’re interested in partnering on an Advance project, please complete this form. Andy Gatto, our Strategic Partner Manager, will contact you to discuss the exciting opportunities awaiting your organization.

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