The State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) is an organization serving those involved in technology-based economic development (often called “T-BED”), including universities, state and local economic development organizations, and venture development organizations.
The organization’s annual conference was held September 14 – 16 in Chicago, with the theme “Regional Prosperity Through Innovation.” The meeting provided a fantastic opportunity to see old friends and colleagues and to meet new ones.
On September 15, I had the great pleasure of moderating a panel on “New Approaches to Commercialization.” The session featured Rick Huebsch from University of Minnesota, who talked about UMN’s new “Minnesota Create” and “Minnesota Try and Buy” programs which simplify the technology licensing process for industry partners.
We went to Chicago’s 1871 incubator and co-working space for a reception. APLU member University of Illinois has a presence at 1871 and other universities are also engaged, engaging students in startup opportunities.
Also on the panel was Wiley Larsen, who presented ASU’s Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator, which licenses university technologies to entrepreneurs and helps get their startups going. The UMN and ASU programs are going a long way toward helping to accelerate innovation and simplify what can sometimes be a too-cumbersome process of getting university discoveries to market.
Before leaving Chicago, I had a great lunch at Chicago landmark Harry Caray’s with colleagues from Washington State University, including Assistant Director of Economic Development Alexis Holzer.