Good morning. We are delighted to once again be the presenting sponsor of the Boulder Economic Council's annual Economic Summit and to have such a distinguished group of community and business leaders on the campus today.

I would like to take a moment to welcome Clif Harald aboard as the new executive director of the Boulder Economic Council. We look forward at CU to continuing our great partnership with the BEC under Clif's direction.

The conference today is centered on the economics of innovation and so it's especially appropriate for us to meet on campus today because the whole essence and substance of what we do at CU-Boulder is innovation. It is a spirit and a culture that's been in our blood for a long time.

It was an act of inspiration and entrepreneurship that created this university in 1876 when the people of Boulder went to the legislature and got this university. The people of Boulder raised $15,000 to create our campus, to educate students, serve the community, and support the economy.

That spirit of innovation has been ongoing for 135 years. I'm proud that CU is integral to the fact that that Boulder is a highly recognized center for start-ups, for venture capital, PhDs, research grants, and for the presence of so many federal labs.

Let me give you a few contemporary examples of that spirit of innovation and inspiration.

The Silicon Flatirons Center catalyzes entrepreneurship across campus, and the region, through a myriad of programs such as a campuswide business plan competition known as the CU New Venture Challenge, as well as the New Technology Meet-up, and Entrepreneurs Unplugged, featuring successful entrepreneurs sharing their experiences with students and faculty. Brad Bernthal, director of the entrepreneurship initiative at Silicon Flatirons, will moderate this morning's IT panel.

I should also mention that Brad and the Silicon Flatirons Center hosted at the Wolf Law Building this past week President Obama's Start-up America initiative, which was a terrific partnership between the city, the university and the business community. I know you will Brad's and the panels' insights on entrepreneurship to be very enlightening.

Another example of innovation is the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, which represents a new partnership between CU and the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, is designed to push the barriers of innovation to advance clean energy solutions for the 21st century and is pursuing the creation of an integrated energy district with several of the federal labs in the area. You will get to hear RASEI director Mike Knotek on this morning's Clean Tech panel.

In addition, the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship in the Leeds School of Business founded and runs the commercialization arm of RASEI. And it's notable that clean-tech companies like ION Engineering, which pioneered a carbon capture technology, has spun out of CU research. ION CEO Buzz Brown is with us today in the Clean-Tech breakout session.

Since 1994, 62 companies have been started based on technology developed at CU-Boulder. In the biotech sector that includes companies like bio-pharmaceutical company Myogen and diagnostics company InDevR, which makes the FluChip and a virus counter you have been hearing about. InDevR CEO Kathy Rowlen, a former CU chemistry professor, is on the Biotech panel today.

Our Colorado Initiative for Molecular Biotechnology will cross new frontiers and be an anchor for biotech innovations. In fact, we're still pinching ourselves that we have Nobel laureate Tom Cech to lead that effort.

In the Natural and Organic sector, the Deming Center's Organic Business Initiative began in 2007 to promote education and entrepreneurship in the increasingly important area of natural and organic products and services.

CU's history is woven into the fabric of the aerospace industry when 54 years ago, Ball Brothers forged a partnership with CU rocket scientists.

Today a CU-built instrument is collecting data from Mercury on the Messenger spacecraft and CU students are designing and testing the Dream Chaser commercial spacecraft in partnership with Louisville's Sierra Nevada Corporation and NASA.

Diane Dimeff, the executive director of the e-SPACE Center for Space Entrepreneurship—that is a partnership between CU and SpaceDev, is moderating the aerospace break out.

The Dream Chaser project brings up a good point I would like to make. Our entrepreneurship is not limited to our programs, our tech transfer, or our sponsored research. It includes our students.

Almost any student on this campus has the opportunity to be an entrepreneur—anyone from an engineering major to a film studies major. CU offers a Cross Campus Entrepreneurship Education certificate developed by the Deming Center and the Leeds School of Business, which provides courses and networking to help students develop and launch entrepreneurial ventures in any field.

Witness international affairs student Mark Arnoldy's protein peanut paste as an antidote to third-world malnutrition. Or CU film studies classmates Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, as examples of entrepreneurial students who did not come out of the entrepreneurial program per se, but benefited from the culture and tools provided by CU-Boulder.

Innovation also can be found in our educational outreach programs. The space shuttle Endeavor left for the International Space Station on Monday carrying a trio of experiments designed by students and faculty at our NASA-supported Bioserve Space Technologies on campus involving banana spiders, fruit-fly behavior, and mustard seed germination. Ninety-thousand K-12 students nationwide are comparing the results of their experiments on Earth with ours in low gravity in a national education project.

Innovation and inspiration run in all directions from the university. It is in the DNA of CU. It's in our primordial soup. That's why we are especially delighted to be the site for this summit.

We are in for a highly innovative and inspired day. And we at CU are pleased to join with the Boulder Economic Council to be your hosts.


Innovation: the spirit and culture of CU