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Universities & Colleges as Economic Drivers Forum at Clarkson University

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Published on Oct 11, 2013

"Building the North Country's Innovation Economy Through Technology Commercialization & New Business Start-Ups" was hosted at Clarkson University with the North Country's colleges, universities & institutes on October 7. Designed to celebrate and expand how the North Country is deploying its universities and colleges as economic drivers, the goal of the event was for the dialog to further spur workforce development opportunities, entrepreneurial creativity and technology innovation across the region.

The program kicked off with an innovation showcase and reception, where emerging entrepreneurs and new start-ups pitched their ideas to forum attendees.

Jason Lane, co-author of Universities and Colleges as Economic Drivers, and deputy director for research at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, delivered the keynote address.

As well, a panel of college and university presidents joined with economic development leaders. The panel included Tony Collins, president of Clarkson University; Dennis Hefner, interim president of SUNY Potsdam; Carole McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College; William Murray, executive director of CITEC and the North Country Regional Economic Development Council's liaison to the Higher Education and Research & Development Consortium (HEARD); and Lane. It was facilitated by Donald Alexander, CEO of Jefferson County Job Development Corporation.

Lonnie Threatte, assistant secretary for higher education for New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, offered the closing remarks.

Recent policy debates underscore the role of higher education in the economic vitality of our states and nation. Through cultivation of a rigorous teaching, learning and research environments; workforce development; creativity and innovation; knowledge transfer; and community engagement; these institutions produce prospective employees, assist regional businesses, promote the commercialization of new products and service development, attract new industries and enhance quality of life.

The events was sponsored by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, Mountain Lake PBS, WPBS-DT, and CITEC.

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