SISU: The Innovation Institute at NMU is an institute for innovation and transformational education encouraging the cultivation of ideas leading to relevant and sustainable university services and academic programs. As an internal hub for innovation, SISU provides a welcoming and inclusive space for members of the NMU community to bring or generate, collaborate, and develop ideas for programs and services.

SISU uses a design thinking framework to gain insights, and refine ideas. It serves as a home for experimental academic programs and services.

For further information on the center, explore the proposal PDF linked below. 

Recent News

2021-2022 PIF Recipients

SISU: the Innovation Institute at NMU has announced the recipients of 2021-2022 Program Incentive Funds. Five programs have been chosen to move on to the next steps of innovation. 

Recipients include...

  • Upper Peninsula Cybersecurity Institute (UPCI) to fund the creation of a NMU Automotive Cybersecurity Certificate program.
    • Project Champion: Doug Miller, Director, UPCI
  • Center for Teaching and Learning to assemble a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) to explore the HyFlex, a course delivery model combining face-to-face (F2F) and online learning.
    • Project Champion: Matt Smock, Director of Instructional Design and Technology
  • Fresh Water, Fresh Voices, a collaboration between English Graduate Programs, Earth, Environmental, & Geographical Studies (EEGS) and Fresh Coast Film Festival. This will produce a local conference offering an "interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunity that centers on NMU's unique landscape and established leadership in sustainability and graduate writing programs."
    • Project Champion: Dr. Rachel May, Associate Professor of English
  • Indoor Agriculture Program to assist in the creation of a Commercial Crop Lab in the former Aviation hangar located at NMU's Jacobetti Complex.
    • Project Champion: Evan Lucas, Assistant Professor of Technology and Occupational Sciences
  • Construction Management and Trimball Labs to enhance learning activities by incorporating new virtual reality technology and developing higher quality labs for a new fully online degree.
    • Project Champion: Evan Lucas, Assistant Professor of Technology and Occupational Sciences

In order to be approved, all programs had to go through a design thinking workshop centered around their PIF, which included a diverse range of area experts. Project champions will be reporting progress on their projects quarterly. The projects not chosen were given action items to further develop their ideas for the future and an opportunity to attend a design thinking workshop focusing on their idea.

Congratulations to this year's recipients!  The 2022-2023 PIF cycle will begin in August. SISU will be holding PIF submission workshops August through October, with submissions beginning in October. SISU is always accepting new innovations via the submission form


Ice Climbing


SISU: The Innovation Institute at Northern Michigan University exists to facilitate, incubate, and drive innovation on campus.


SISU Think Session

Core Values

Beyond innovation, we will build from our core values...

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Collaborative
  • Agile
  • Inclusive
  • Transparent


SISU Process NMU

The SISU Innovation Process

Step 1: Idea Intake
What's your idea?

Step 2: Research & Analysis
What type of project?

Step 3: Pilot & Pitch
Let's incubate it!

Step 4: Realization
Launch & Release

Contact Us

Phone 906-227-2050