With economic development now firmly established as a key priority for most TTOs, a growing number of offices are investing significant time and resources into collaborating with local stakeholders on the creation of vibrant innovation districts.
These large-scale projects require intimate cooperation with local governments, business leaders and real estate developers — and the results can be breathtaking. For instance, take Technology Square at Georgia Tech: With a 10-year history (and one of the earliest innovation campuses), Technology Square has completely transformed Midtown Atlanta into a vibrant hub of innovation complete with affordable living, work, and retail spaces that have contributed to an incredibly successful technology transfer business for the school.
Innovate ABQ, the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) technology generating pipeline, is in its infancy compared to Technology Square, but it is well on its way to becoming a university-driven economic development hotspot. The effort to create an innovation district that fuels job creation got a big shot in the arm at a recent economic development summit, which included faculty and university leaders, city, county and state officials, as well as leaders from the local business and entrepreneurial community. The summit resulted in the formation of two economic development advisory groups, and building out an innovation district is moving fast toward implementation.
Successfully creating the partnerships, plans, funding channels, and support for these efforts is no walk in the park – but the rewards can be transformative for entire regions, along with the universities that provide the technology fueling the innovation engine. That’s why we’ve created this timely program featuring the leaders of both Georgia Tech’s and UNM’s initiatives:
How to Build and Nurture an Innovation District
In this case study style program, Stephen Fleming, Vice President of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech, will talk about how it all came together and what the biggest challenges are when trying to make the public-private partnership work. And co-presenter Lisa Kuuttila, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer at STC.UNM, the tech transfer and economic development arm of the University of New Mexico, will share the philosophy that UNM is following to build and grow their innovation district.
Mr. Fleming and Ms. Kuuttila will also discuss:
- New Mexico: Strengths and opportunities
- Need for Innovate ABQ
- University of New Mexico developing the idea with partners
- The Innovation Academy: the academic component at UNM
- Innovation District: the larger business-community partnership
- The Rainforest Model
- Next steps in master planning and development
- Technology Square: Successes and challenges
- Identifying needs and opportunities
- Tips for recruiting tenant companies
- Project management strategies: cooperating with university leaders, government, and local business communities
- Plans for the future
- Selecting a model for an innovation ecosystem
- Selecting a site
- Startup incubators vs. corporate innovation centers
- Fundraising opportunities and challenges
- And much more…
Meet Your Panel of Expert Presenters:
Elizabeth (Lisa) J. Kuuttila, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer, STC.UNM-University of New Mexico. Ms. Kuuttila works with the STC.UNM Board of Directors in developing strategies for implementing STC’s vision to play a vital role in New Mexico’s economic development and to be a leader in technology commercialization. Under her leadership, STC.UNM is substantially growing its program using the Rainforest Model to develop an innovation ecosystem in New Mexico. In 2013, STC.UNM was tasked by the University with implementing its economic development initiatives under Ms. Kuuttila’s leadership. Ms. Kuuttila has more than 20 years of prior leadership experience in technology commercialization and licensing.
Stephen Fleming, Vice President, Enterprise Innovation Institute – Georgia Tech. An Atlanta native and summa cum laude graduate of Georgia Tech, Stephen returned to his alma mater in mid-2005 where he currently serves as Vice President, Economic Development and Technology Ventures, and Executive Director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech. In addition to his roles at Georgia Tech, Stephen is active in the “alternative space” industry; he is an investor in four private aerospace companies and is a founding member of the Space Angels Network. Mr. Fleming also serves on the board of the Technology Association of Georgia