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Universities in Kentucky and Ohio Join to Advance Life Sciences

By Dan Adkins

 

The new paradigm meshes perfectly with the vision for the University of Kentucky’s role in economic development as expressed by UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. Since becoming UK’s president July 1, 2001, Todd has advocated an aggressive strategy of technology transfer, enterprise and entrepreneurial support to help launch and attract New Economy companies in the Bluegrass State.

 

Feb. 6, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Four major research universities in Kentucky and Ohio have formed an alliance that promises to reshape traditional approaches to economic development by advancing their research in life sciences while working to attract life science enterprises to both states.

The Ohio Valley Affiliates for Life Sciences, comprised of the University of Cincinnati, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and Wright State University, establishes a new paradigm for New Economy economic development efforts by creating research collaborations that reach across state lines. The collaborative approach represents a sharp shift away from economic development efforts that place states in competing roles.

OVALS, formed in 2002, launches its efforts to build life sciences in the Midwest at a conference scheduled March 10 and 11, 2003, at the Kingsgate Conference Hotel in Cincinnati.

The new paradigm meshes perfectly with the vision for the University of Kentucky’s role in economic development as expressed by UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. Since becoming UK’s president July 1, 2001, Todd has advocated an aggressive strategy of technology transfer, enterprise and entrepreneurial support to help launch and attract New Economy companies in the Bluegrass State.

Among the sessions planned for the conference are “New Roles for Universities: Public Expectations and the Changing Landscape of University Research Programs;” “The Georgia Alliance Experience: Strategies for Bridging the Gap Between Bench and Market;” separate sessions on commercializing inventions; “State Initiatives and Support for Developing the Knowledge Economy;” and “Breaking Down Barriers: Linkages Outside the Academy.”

The closing keynote speaker, Wendy Baldwin, will discuss the role of the National Institutes of Health in fostering interdisciplinary and inter-institutional
collaboration. Baldwin, former deputy director for extramural research at the NIH, recently became UK’s vice president for research.

Among the four institutions there are four colleges of medicine, two colleges of pharmacy, two colleges of dentistry and one college of agriculture, along with a host of faculty in biology, chemistry and other scientific fields related to the life sciences. Annually, they collectively attract more than $500 million in extramural research funding.

In addition to the OVALS universities, conference sponsors include BIO/START, CincyTech USA, Dayton Development Coalition, Health Enterprises Network, Lexington United, Battelle Memorial Institute, BHDP Architecture, Emerging Concepts Inc., Frost Brown Todd, Shire US Inc., OMERIS, and Sentron Medical Inc.


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