Some 40 business, academic and government leaders gathered today (Aug. 25) in Youngstown, OH, to discuss strategies for creating a successful regional innovation ecosystem. They were brought together by West Virginia University President Jim Clements and Rebecca Bagley, president of Cleveland-based economic development organization NorTech.

The event occurred under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Innovation Advisory Board. Clements and Bagley are both members of the Board, established by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, to guide a study of U.S. economic competitiveness and innovation to help inform federal policies at the heart of U.S. job creation and global competitiveness.

Today’s event at Youngstown State University was part of information-gathering to help the board prepare its report. Another goal was to build connections across northeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. Also participating in the event were Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio’s 17th district.

“This meeting is very helpful in generating recommendations for the Innovation Advisory Board report,” said Clements, the only university president on the 15-member board. “WVU’s role as co-host of this event also helps to elevate our profile in the region as a convener, catalyst and partner with industry, government and other universities.”

Clements will host a Forum on Innovation and Economic Competitiveness in Morgantown on Sept. 9.



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