U Leaders Tour Minnesota to Learn About Regional Business Needs
This spring, research and business leaders from the U will travel across Minnesota to meet with leaders in industry, government and economic development to discuss the needs of local economies.
“Traveling across the state and having these discussions is the best way for us to get to know businesses’ needs and discover economic opportunities,” said Brian Herman, the U’s vice president for research. “Our goal is to listen, learn and find out where our mutual interests intersect.”
Maura Donovan, executive director of University Economic Development (UED), will join Herman in leading the tour, visiting economic development groups, foundations and companies across the state to learn where and how the university can partner to support each region’s economy.
“I am already inspired by the conversations I’ve been having with local business leaders, community organizations and U of M research partners at our regional campuses and centers” Donovan said. “There is so much opportunity and so much talent throughout the state and throughout our university system. I am excited to learn more about the needs and interests of our regional communities and to help foster new, productive relationships between the university and businesses in Minnesota.”
The trips were coordinated in partnership with the Minnesota Initiative Foundations, six nationally recognized foundations working to strengthen the communities and economies of Greater Minnesota. Leaders from the U will visit the following regions:
- Southern Minnesota, April 16: Austin, Owatonna and Waseca
- Southwest Minnesota, April 24: Morton and Eden Prairie
- Central Minnesota, May 13: St. Cloud and Brainerd
- Western Minnesota, May 20: Fergus Falls and Morris
- Northwest Minnesota, May 21: Crookston and Fosston
- Northeast Minnesota, Aug. 27: Duluth and Eveleth
University leaders ultimately hope the visits will serve as catalysts for new public-private partnerships that thrive on the combination of the university’s aptitude for creating new knowledge and industry’s capacity to implement those solutions.
Open for business
The Office of University Economic Development serves as the “front door” for companies interested in connecting with the U. To learn more about licensing U research, recruiting world-class research talent or partnering with the U in other ways, visit frontdoor.umn.edu.
Kevin is a writer and public relations associate with the Office of the Vice President for Research.