UEDA opens annual summit in Chattanooga

More than 150 members of the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) begin the first full day of their annual summit this morning in Chattanooga.

The group is being hosted by Chuck Shoopman, Assistant Vice President for Public Service at the University of Tennessee (UT), who becomes UEDA President later in the week. Shoopman has long been active in economic development activities while at the Tennessee Valley Authority as well as his two tours of duty at UT.

He told teknovation.biz that UEDA is focused on “growing entrepreneurs, becoming more effective in technology transfer and commercialization, and enhancing the role of universities in economic development.”

Those attending come from 60 different institutions in 35 states including Alaska and Hawaii.

“It’s the first time the meeting has ever been held in Tennessee,” Shoopman said. UEDA was formed about a decade ago through a merger of the National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers and the national organization of University Centers funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

“We want to showcase the importance of higher education’s role in transforming the economy from where it is to where it is going,” Shoopman said. He added that an overarching theme will be the fact that the Morrill Act, which is the basis for what became the nation’s network of land-grant colleges and their role in service and outreach, was passed 150 years ago.

UT President Joe DiPietro delivers the keynote address this morning on The Energy of the Modern University.” He will be joined immediately after his presentation for a Presidential Panel that also features President Jim Clements of West Virginia University. Later today, Assistant Commissioner Alice Rolli of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will speak on the “Power in Regionalism, Views from Tennessee.”

Other Tennesseans who speak at the summit include Wayne Cropp and Chris Daly of The Enterprise Center in Chattanooga, Harold DePriest of the Chattanooga Power Board, Paul Jennings of UT’s Center for Industrial Services, Janet Miller of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and Ken Woody of Innova.

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