Following the Year of the Wisconsin Idea, the university has declared the 2012-2013 academic year to be the “Year of Innovation.”

Director of Programming of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Laura Heisler said the three main themes for the Year of Innovation came from Interim Chancellor David Ward.

Heisler, who manages the Wisconsin Science Festival, the first of many events in coordination with the Year of Innovation, said the ideas for the theme also came from planning around that event.

Heisler said Ward embraced the idea to have this academic year be the Year of Innovation and agreed the theme answers the question of what the campaign after last year’s idea should convey. 

Heisler added events through the year are designed to be convenient for students to stop by between their classes.

Heisler said she thinks the theme of the Year of Innovation will provide students on campus with an opportunity to celebrate success.

“We want to spend some time to embrace that everyone can be an innovator,” Heisler said. “You can innovate in anything you do and we all need to embrace this spirit.”

Provost Paul DeLuca said events will be broadly focused on many different subject areas and will include events for people to directly participate in, material for people to read and things for people to learn.

“The choice for this year lines up nicely with Interim Chancellor Ward’s presence on campus,” DeLuca added.

DeLuca said the Year of Innovation is a great way to recognize many of the highly creative things that have taken place at UW in addition to what is happening currently.

DeLuca said there is a new website for the occasion, which he describes as a mechanism to communicate with people.

According to a UW statement, the three themes of the Year of Innovation focus on innovation in the fields of teaching, research and operations, interactions between the UW campus and community and the implications of the many UW technological advancements.

The statement said the book Radioactive by Lauren Redniss, UW’s Go Big Read reading project choice for this year, will serve as the focus of some of the many events in coordination with the Year of Innovation.

“The event invites faculty, students and staff from all parts of campus to come together to explore diverse approaches to innovation, ranging from launching new tech ventures to revamping old processes to creating new campus-community connections,” the statement said.

The statement said the Year of Innovation will kick off Oct. 9 with an event titled “UW is ‘Innovation U’: Building on a Tradition of Innovation.”

Those interested can also follow everything that is transpiring on Twitter under the name @UW_Innovation and with the hashtag #uwinnovation, according to the statement.