Wednesday, September 24, 2003
State and University Officials Work on Economic Development Goals
Emphasizing that Michigan’s colleges and universities play a key role in the economic development goals of the state, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today told 200 higher education leaders that her administration will work with them to help transfer technologies developed in campus laboratories to the private sector. The Governor spoke to the leaders at the Governor’s University Summit on Economic Development and Collaboration today in East Lansing.
“Universities have always had an essential role to play in our economy, by transferring your breakthroughs in the lab to break-away successes in business,” Granholm said. “One way that the state can steer our economic direction is by enhancing this partnership – by helping universities transfer technology to the private sector, by helping our world renowned schools do what they do best – and then help them get their knowledge into the marketplace, where it creates jobs and helps to fund even more research and even more success.”
The summit was developed following a meeting between Granholm, Wayne State University President Irvin D. Reid, Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services Director David Hollister and other members of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive Committee. After hearing about competitiveness issues facing the state, Granholm called for the creation of a strategy that would engage state government, Michigan’s public universities and the private sector in a successful technology transfer process.
Workgroups met throughout the summer to discuss technology transfer issues and to create a strategy for capitalizing on the commercialization potential of Michigan’s university research. The results of the workshops are contained in a series of recommendations, which were presented and discussed in separate sessions during the University Summit. The four sessions included:
- strengthening collaboration to bolster public-private technology transfer;
- supporting a long-term sustained technology transfer plan for Michigan;
- accelerating the process by which university transfers research to the private sector; and
- fostering a culture that promotes technology transfer.
Reid hailed the administration’s role in spurring universities and state officials to redouble their efforts to work smarter and more collaboratively. “Leadership starts from the top,” he said. “Today’s topic will be instrumental is establishing the Governor’s agenda for sustaining Michigan’s leadership role in economic development. On behalf of Michigan’s universities, we look forward to working with the Governor in advancing her agenda.”
Donna Dubinsky, a Benton Harbor native and co-founder of Palm Computing and Handspring, was the keynote luncheon speaker.
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