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Governor Engler Launches Innovation Forum at Wayne State University

Monday, September 14, 1998

John Truscott
(517) 335-6397

Governor John Engler today was at Wayne State University to inaugurate the Governor's Innovation Forums. The forums, which are part of Governor Engler's Five-Point Jobs & Technology Plan, are designed to develop an action plan that will help shape Michigan's economic future by encouraging the state's universities and industries to collaborate in research and development. "By working together to shape our future, we are guaranteeing the creation of high-tech jobs and increasing the competitiveness of Michigan business," said Governor Engler. " We have to focus on the importance of technology, and the role our universities and industries play in preparing Michigan for the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century. These forums will give us the platform to achieve that goal." Surveys were sent to university, industry research leaders and professional and economic development representatives. Participants at today's forum were given the chance to review the results from the survey and to begin a dialogue in identifying major issues. "The survey results show the common concerns of both university and industry officials," said Doug Rothwell, CEO and Department Director, Michigan Jobs Commission. "We do have some barriers to overcome, which is why we are here today and will continue to meet into the next year, encouraging successful collaboration." Joining Governor Engler were Dr. Irvin D. Reid, president of Wayne State University; Dr. Charles M. Vest, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Richard D. Snyder, president of Avalon Investments; Dr. John P. McTague, vice president of Ford Motor Company Technical Affairs; Glenn R. Stevens, executive director of the Presidents' Council, State Universities of Michigan; and Doug Rothwell, CEO and Department Director of the Michigan Jobs Commission. The Governor's Innovation Forum is a year-long series of four working seminars designed to allow the state's universities to gain a better understanding of the needs of high-tech businesses, and help high-tech businesses gain a better understanding of the needs and capabilities of universities. For more information, visit the Governor's Innovation Forum web site at the address below: