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Feb. 17, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo.- For the second consecutive year, Northwest Missouri State University has been selected to represent Missouri as the winner of the Southern Growth Policies Board 2010 Innovator Award.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) was chosen from a pool of nominees in the Southern region as an outstanding initiative that helps communities recover from the economic downturn.
Dr. Charles McAdams, dean of Northwest's College of Arts and Sciences and co-director of the CIE, said the award is only the beginning of possibilities for the facility, Northwest students and faculty, and CIE tenants, as well as for economic growth in the region.
"I think the award represents the success of the center thus far, and it also attests to our potential for further growth and excitement for this area in the future," McAdams said.
Ted Abernathy, executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board said, "The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is an excellent example of the future of university-based public service. A collaborative public-private team focused on helping to create new economic opportunities is one of the ways that universities can set an economic development example."
Five years ago, Northwest began working with numerous community partners - including Nodaway County Economic Development, the Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Maryville Chamber of Commerce, as well as the education, healthcare, utilities and banking sectors - to create an initiative that would have a positive impact on economic and business development. The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which opened in July, is the culmination of that collaborative effort between Northwest and the city of Maryville.
The CIE is a mixed-use incubator with emphasis on technology-based, start-up companies. It also provides assistance to existing small businesses and encourages development of new small businesses. The 46,679 square-foot facility includes three lab analysis research areas, a shared scientific instrument room and 9,000 square feet of tenant office space. The academic wing contains more than 16,000 square feet of highly specialized teaching and research labs and offices.
Five environmentally-friendly companies now call the CIE "home." One of those companies, Carbolytic Materials Company, has expanded into Maryville's industrial park. When it reaches its capacity, the CIE will have generated eight new businesses in its first rotation.
CMC, under chief executive Ray Riek, purchases recycled tires and produces a cleaner alternative for carbon black from the scrap. In a recent edition of the St. Louis Business Journal, Publisher Ellen Sherberg wrote of the CIE that "venture capitalists and investors might beat a path to Maryville, Mo., in the northwestern corner of the state to check out the incubator that houses CMC's plant. With all the attention we in St. Louis like to claim for our universities, it was Northwest Missouri State that recognized the promise of Riek's work."
Northwest's application for the award was co-written by Lee Langerock, executive director for Nodaway County Economic Development and Dr. Jason White, assistant professor in Northwest's Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
"The Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is building what has been intended - a link between students and business and a bridge between high-value commercial projects and our academic programs," Langerock said. "By providing a cooperative open atmosphere, we are growing new technologies and innovative ideas to commercialization. That brings business investment and new jobs. This is well-deserved recognition of Northwest's leadership and commitment to economic development and to working together with community as a cohesive team."
The Southern Growth Policies Board is a non-partisan public policy think tank based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Formed by the region's governors in 1971, Southern Growth Policies Board develops and advances visionary economic development policies by providing a forum for partnership and dialog among a diverse cross-section of the region's governors, legislators, business and academic leaders and the economic and community development sectors. The unique public-private partnership is devoted to strengthening the south's economy and creating the highest possible quality of life.
The Southern Growth Policies Board is supported by memberships of 13 southern states - Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Each year, it selects one program from each of its member states that is improving economic opportunities and quality of life in the region.
The 2010 Innovator Awards will be presented at Southern Growth's 2010 Chairman's Conference, "Driving the Next 20 Years: Maximizing the New Automotive Industry in the South." The conference will be June 7-8 in Lexington, Ken. Hosted by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, the conference will focus on the role the automotive industry can play in creating jobs and investment in the South. More information about the conference can be found at www.southerngrowth.com .
The CIE also will be highlighted in the Southern Growth Policies Board's "2010 Report on the Future of the South." For more information on the CIE, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/cie .
In 2009, Northwest earned the Innovator Award for its Alternative Energy Innovation, which uses alternative fuel sources to reduce the University's dependence on fossil fuels, and purchases regionally-produced renewable energy sources that create economic benefits for the region. The program has yielded $13 million in savings compared to purchasing natural gas and oil.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468