Clough Asked to Join Innovation Task Force

The National Governors Association Innovation America Task Force will set an agenda for�2007 in Phoenix this week

Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough has been asked to participate in the National Governors' Association's Innovation America Task Force.

Clough is one of four university presidents to participate on the task force, which includes three representatives from industry and six governors. Delegations from thirty-two states will be present to help the task force kick off the NGA's innovation initiative in Phoenix this week. The program will include a series of meetings and open dialogue about the innovation challenges that confront the United States, the role of states, and Initiative deliverables.

"I am honored to be a part of the Innovation America Task Force and represent Georgia Tech and the state of Georgia on the national stage," said Clough. "I have worked on the challenge of innovation from a national perspective as co-chair of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness' National Innovation Initiative. However, the efforts of state governments also make a vital contribution to the innovation process."

The NGA has taken on this task because the creation of 'hot spots' of innovation is a regional phenomenon in which state governments can play a critical role. It is the states that develop the nation's human capital through education; maintain public infrastructure, often including rights of way for broadband; and create a positive tax and policy climate for innovation. States are also increasingly investing in research at their universities. Governors are often in a position to serve as a 'convenor' and facilitator for the collaboration among government, higher education, and industry that is essential to innovation.

"The state of Georgia and Georgia Tech are working together to create an environment rich in innovation," said Clough. "We still have room to grow, and I am looking forward to the proposals and ideas that will come from the Innovation America initiative."

The NGA Innovation Initiative is a call to action for states to encourage innovation based growth in their region through economic and education policies. The process will ultimately provide governors with ideas and examples of how to help their colleges and universities realize their potential as vital resources for regional innovation.

The Innovation Task Force will also form a public campaign to inform America about the need for innovation and talent initiatives.