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PSU hosts summit on powering the region's tech economy
Author: Chris Broderick, PSU Office of University Communications
Posted: October 25, 2013

Portland, Ore.) October 25, 2013 — Becoming a premiere national university in technology, business and research is no easy path and takes years of sustained effort by industry, state policy makers and faculty and administration, a Georgia Tech leader told a Portland State University gathering Friday.

Stephen Fleming, vice president of the Georgia’s Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, told nearly 100 PSU faculty, tech company executives and economic development officials that it took years for Georgia Tech to emerge as one of the nation’s top public engineering universities that attracts $700 million in year in research dollars, spins off successful startups and draws dozens of companies such as GE and Panasonic to develop new technology.

 “They come for the student talent; they stay for the innovative environment,” said Fleming, who made clear that Georgia Tech is a model for PSU because they share vibrant urban locations, similar size and a growing tech economy.

Fleming was the keynote speaker at a “Powering Portland’s Tech Economy” summit hosted by PSU and the Technology Association of Oregon. As part of the series of Portland State of Mind events, the meeting informed tech executives from Intel to startups about all the expertise and talent pool at PSU, while tech participants told PSU faculty and administrators how PSU can help their workforce and their research.

“The depth of interactions (at PSU) is remarkable,” said Intel’s Carl Rimby, who said Intel hires 300 interns from PSU and has more than 450 engineers who are PSU graduates working at its Hillsboro chip facility.

Angela Jackson, director of the Portland State Business Accelerator, told the tech executives that the accelerator helps startups get off the ground while PSU’s new Center for Entrepreneurship works to spur innovation and provide support across the university beyond technology, from architecture to science. Echoing Fleming, she said: “It’s not about patents, it’s about the students.”

Erin Flynn, PSU’s associate vice president for strategic partnerships who organized the event, said the lessons from Georgia Tech show that PSU and the tech sector can come together to develop business growth and breakthroughs that will accelerate Oregon’s economy.

“We can do this,” Flynn said. “Let’s build this ecosystem together.”

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News Release

For Immediate Release (#13-100)
Contact: Chris Broderick (503-725-3773), PSU Office of University Communications 
Source: Erin Flynn (503-725-8490), PSU Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships