West Virginia University President Jim Clements has been invited by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to join a new Innovation Advisory Board that will guide a study of U.S. economic competitiveness and innovation.

Locke said the 15-member panel, in coordination with the National Economic Council and other federal agencies, will help inform national policies at the heart of U.S. job creation, competitiveness and global strength.

“Together with the vast experience and insight of our new board members, the Department of Commerce will work to deliver the most comprehensive review of U.S. innovation and global competitiveness of the 21st Century,” Locke said. “With a better understanding of how the U.S. is performing in areas such as education, science and technology, and business development as compared to our economic competitors, we can make more targeted and more effective policy decisions that will create jobs, promote economic growth and ultimately enable America to win the future.”

The Innovation Advisory Board was established by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, signed by President Barack Obama in January of this year. Board members will offer advice and solicit feedback from stakeholders across the country, serving until the completion of the study – required before Jan. 4, 2012.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller said he is pleased that President Clements will be representing West Virginia on this board. “I have worked closely with Jim Clements on ways to make West Virginia a better place and the University is a key part of that,” Rockefeller said. “I’ve found him to be a man with integrity and sharp intellect. That’s why I’m thrilled he’s been named to the United States Commerce Department’s Innovation Advisory Board.

“The formation of this board was a key part of President Obama’s America COMPETES act, and is charged by Congress to channel American innovation toward meeting new global economic challenges. Jim’s interest in serving on this prestigious board makes me proud of his dedication to our state and this country. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, I’m pleased to know a good friend will represent our state and our country on the board.”

WVU alumnus and President of the National Academy of Engineering and President Emeritus of MIT Charles Vest added, “It is great to see the federal government call on President Clements to serve on this important and timely advisory board. It is also good for the profile and visibility of WVU and the state.”

The study will analyze the competitiveness of the U.S. economy and its capacity for innovation in comparison to that of global competition – covering all facets of the economy impacted by national policy, including trade and exports, education, research and development, immigration, technology commercialization, intellectual property and tax policy.

WVU Board of Governors Chair Carolyn Long said it is an honor for WVU to be part of such an important national dialogue.

“We are proud that President Clements was selected to help represent higher education at the table,” Long said. “He will be able to contribute perspectives from his experiences in higher education and will gain invaluable insights about the role research, land-grant universities will play in advancing the nation’s innovation agenda.”

Clements, the only university president invited to serve on the panel, said, “I am very excited to represent the great potential and capacity of academic research to promote innovation strategies in our country. My selection is a reflection of the great work by our faculty and staff here at WVU, as well as the importance of land-grant research universities being an integral part of our nation’s priority on scholarship, research, development and innovation.”

The board will hold its first meeting in June at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, followed by a second meeting in the fall. Board members serve in a volunteer capacity.

Innovation Advisory Board members include:

– Robert Atkinson, Founder and President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

– Rebecca Bagley, President & CEO, NorTech

– Jim Clements, President, West Virginia University

– Abby Joseph Cohen, President of the Global Markets Institute and Senior Investment Strategist, Goldman Sachs

– Larry Cohen, President, Communication Workers of America

– Judy Estrin, CEO, JLabs

– Rebecca Henderson, Eastman Kodak Professor of Management, Sloan School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

– Irwin Jacobs, Chairman, Qualcomm

– Arthur Levinson, Chairman, Genentech, Inc.

– James Manyika, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Director, McKinsey Global Institute

– Natalia Olson-Urtecho, President & CEO, EG (formerly Ecolibrium Group)

– Kim Polese, Chairman, ClearStreet Inc.

– Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-Founder, National Center for Women & Information Technology

– Julie Shimer, President & CEO, Welch Allyn

– Stephen Tang, President, CEO & Director, University City Science Center



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