More than 50 university representatives from around the country who are responsible for economic development initiatives at their institutions are in Omaha this week to attend the summer meeting of the national Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity. The meeting is being hosted by University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken, current chair of CICEP.
Over the next three days, participants will hear presentations on the role of universities in economic development, technology transfer, fostering entrepreneurship among faculty and students, and other topics. The group also will discuss ongoing competitiveness initiatives, including efforts to measure how well universities are engaging with local and regional economies, as well as a goal Milliken has set to more actively engage business and government leaders and other external groups with public universities.
Gov. Dave Heineman, who as chair of the National Governors Association has identified “Growing State Economies” as his key initiative, will address the group today. Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, an NU alum, will speak to CICEP tomorrow at lunch on his new book, The Coming Jobs War.
“This meeting is a great opportunity to showcase success stories in our state and at the University of Nebraska, and I’m very pleased that so many of my colleagues around the country who are experts in economic development are attending,” Milliken said. “I’m especially excited that Governor Heineman has agreed to participate, because we share similar goals for economic success – and the role higher education plays in that success – and I look forward to continued engagement between CICEP and the nation’s governors.”
CICEP, which focuses on the expanding role universities play in local and regional innovation, is a commission within the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, a research and advocacy organization for public research universities, land-grant institutions and state university systems. Milliken became CICEP chair in November and is serving a two-year term.