News & Events | Events Archive

May 29

2013 Boulder Economic Summit

Sen. Mark Udall at 2013 Boulder Economic Summit

Colorado’s research institutions play a significant role in the state economy, and changes in federal funding and other challenges have the potential to weaken our competitive infrastructure. The 2013 Boulder Economic Summit focused on actions that can be taken to better leverage the state’s research assets, create a workforce ready for the future and build strategic partnerships between universities, government and industry. Over 200 industry, academic and community leaders attended the event hosted by the Boulder Economic Council at the Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado Boulder.

Video: Research Universities and the Future of America (YouTube)
Report Summary: Research Universities and the Future of America
Presentation: Research Universities and the Future of America
Presentation: Chancellor DiStefano’s remarks

Presentation: Bioscience industry overview

Related news articles:
Hope, fears collide at econ summit, Boulder County Business Report, June 7, 2013
Boulder Economic Summit opens with call to fight threats to Colorado’s economy, Daily Camera, May 29, 2013
Chancellor: Cuts imperil research at CU, Boulder County Business Report, May 29,2013
Gains cheered, pain feared for aerospace, Boulder County Business Report, May 29, 2013
Polis touts education, predicts less funding, Boulder County Business Report, May 29, 2013
Udall wants drone test site in Colorado, Boulder County Business Report, May 29, 2013
Boulder Economic Summit to tackle sequestration, budget concerns, Daily Camera, May 26, 2013
Summit to explore impact of sequestration, Boulder County Business Report, May 24, 2013
Federal cuts in focus at economic summit, Boulder County Business Report, May 20, 2013

Program summary:
Colorado’s research ecosystem: threats and opportunities, Dr. Phil DiStefano, Chancellor, University of Colorado Boulder – Chancellor DiStefano discussed the importance of university research partnerships with industry as well as state and federal government to help Colorado and the nation compete and prosper. He also provided insights on an array of challenges research universities face from unstable revenue streams to competition from foreign universities. He discussed how those challenges are weakening our competitive infrastructure and what we can do to change that dynamic.

Preserving the federal commitment to research, Mark E. Udall, United States Senator, Colorado – Sen. Udall discussed the significant contributions of Colorado’s research institutions and provided his perspective on the federal government’s commitment to research. He also described steps that need to be taken to enhance the nation’s leadership in innovation.

Research universities and the future of America, Peter Henderson, Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce, National Research Council – Mr. Henderson provided an overview of the report from a committee of academic, industry, government and research laboratory leaders convened by the National Research Council to assess the competitive position of America’s research universities, and moderated a panel discussion of key recommendations. Panelists included Chancellor DiStefano, Ken Lund, Executive Director, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Dr. Michael Martin, Chancellor, Colorado State University, Monisha Merchant, Senior Advisor for Business Affairs, U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet, Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President & Head of Space Systems, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Scott Sternberg, President, Vaisala, Inc. and CO-LABS Vice Chair

Concurrent Sessions – Panelists shared insights about current trends in the Aerospace, Bioscience and Cleantech industries including funding challenges, technology transfer and partnerships between businesses and research institutions.

Aerospace – Moderator: Vicky Lea, Aviation and Aerospace Industry Manager, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Panelists: Diane Dimeff, Executive Director, eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship, Dr. Dan Durda, Planetary Scientist, Space Studies Department, Southwest Research Institute, Cary Ludtke, Vice President and General Manager, Operational Space, Ball Aerospace, Dr. Stein Sture, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Colorado Boulder

Bioscience – Moderator: April Giles, President & CEO, Colorado BioScience Association, Panelists: David Brunel, Chief Executive Officer, Biodesix, Dr. Richard Duke, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, CID4, Mark Messenbaugh, Executive Director for Corporate Strategy & Development, SomaLogic, Dr. Dan Theodorescu, Director, University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cleantech – Moderator: Chris Votoupal, Deputy Director, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, Panelists: Loren Burnett, Chairman and Founder, US e-Chromic, Dr. William Farland, Vice President for Research, Colorado State University, Bill Farris, Associate Lab Director, Innovation Partnering and Outreach, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Dr. John Poate, Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, Colorado School of Mines

Building a workforce ready for the future, Jared Polis, U.S. Congressman, Colorado – Rep. Polis shared his insights, as a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, on the importance of investing in education to secure America’s economic future. He also discussed the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) pathways, graduate education, and international students and scholars in building tomorrow’s workforce.

Partnerships for advancing research and innovation – Panel discussion of actions that can be taken to strengthen connections and collaboration between research institutions, policy makers and businesses to address funding challenges and better leverage Colorado’s research assets. Moderator: John Tayer, President & CEO, Boulder Chamber, Panelists: Brad Bernthal, Entrepreneurship Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons, University of Colorado Boulder, Tim Bour, Executive Director, Innovation Center of the Rockies, Frances Draper, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Relations, University of Colorado Boulder, Pam Reichert, Vice President, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, David Skaggs, Strategic Advisor, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, Former member of Congress