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IU hosts economic development roundtable with key Indiana business and community leaders


INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University officials from the Office of the Vice President for Engagement recently convened a roundtable discussion with business and community leaders from around the state to discuss IU’s role in fostering economic development across Indiana.  Representing a wide cross-section of key external stakeholders to IU, the event’s participants provided unique and valuable perspectives on the importance of university collaboration.

The group’s discussion centered on Innovate Indiana, IU’s collective efforts dedicated to the advancement of economic development and technology commercialization in Indiana. Key questions posed to the group included how to optimize partnerships, promote entrepreneurism and bring more opportunities for experiential learning to students.

“Today the demand for assistance and support from higher education institutions is greater than ever before,” said Bill Stephan, IU vice president for engagement. “As our state continues to rebound from the economic downturn, we are called on to play a broader role in generating new ideas that have commercial potential and in connecting the business community to IU’s vast intellectual resources.”

Gerry Dick, president and managing editor of Grow Indiana Media Ventures LLC, moderated the roundtable discussion.  

“No one represents the voice of the business community better in Indiana than Gerry Dick, and we greatly appreciate his role in facilitating the discussion and guiding the dialogue to drill deeper into substantive economic issues that confront Indiana,” Stephan said.

“IU’s gathering of some of Indiana’s premier thought leaders reinforces the university’s willingness and commitment to actively engage on the state’s economic front,” Dick said. “The input provided by the discussion participants reflects widespread recognition that university-industry collaboration is a must in today’s challenging business climate. I was pleased to help provide a framework around this very important discussion for our state.”

The input generated from the discussion will be integrated into the strategic assessment and planning process underway for Innovate Indiana. 

“Our goal is to promote a spirit of collaboration, entrepreneurialism and innovation that is university-wide and ultimately helps foster economic growth for Indiana, and we greatly appreciate the input of all those who attended,” Stephan said. 

IU President Michael A. McRobbie created the Office of the Vice President for Engagement in 2007, making statewide economic development a top strategic priority for IU. 

Innovate Indiana engages strategic partners to leverage and advance our Indiana University’s vast intellectual resources and expertise, enhancing Indiana’s economic growth and contributing to the quality of life for Hoosiers.