Let's give Clif Harald, and his office, a hand for organizing this event.
Welcome to the 2014 Boulder Economic Summit!
Today we are spotlighting Boulder's robust and diverse manufacturing economy.
In a few minutes Ken Lund, who heads the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, will tell us about Colorado's advanced manufacturing initiatives.
CU's Rich Wobbekind will profile manufacturing trends in the U.S., Colorado and Boulder.
We'll have breakout sessions with executives across key manufacturing industries locally.
The closing session is always one of the highlights of the day. It will bring together what has been discussed today and focus on steps we can take together to sustain and build our manufacturing economy.
Today we are seeing a manufacturing resurgence taking place across the nation, and a wide variety of manufacturing in Boulder. At CU we are pleased to play a strong, varied and central role in the manufacturing economy, through workforce training, research and industry partnership.
First, it's the job of the university to produce a skilled workforce. The university has ambitious and cross-disciplinary programs training students to become entrepreneurs, innovators and engineers. Here's an example: On Monday, JustRight Surgical, a startup surgical products company in Boulder producing a micro-surgical stapler, closed a $7.5 million funding round. Co-founder and research director Jennifer Kennedy graduated from CU-Boulder with a chemical engineering degree in 1985, just one of many of our faculty and alumni who have started businesses in the Boulder and Colorado community.
Second, we do fundamental and applied research in areas central to manufacturing. And, we actually do manufacturing ourselves. For instance, the manufacture of highly technical commodities such as satellite components at our Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. This is often done in partnership with many of the space-technology firms in Colorado.
Third, by engaging with industry, the university creates synergies that lead to innovation and transfer to the marketplace. A key example is MAVEN—or the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, to research the atmosphere of Mars in partnership with NASA, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance that launched last November.
Let me talk very briefly about each of those areas: producing a skilled workforce, the importance of research, and industry engagement. Many of you may know that our engineering college is highly rated for both its undergraduate and graduate programs.
When Arrow Electronics announced its relocation from Long Island to Centennial in 2011, Arrow CEO Michael Long said that a highly educated workforce—including access to CU-Boulder's engineering programs—rivaled Colorado's tax incentives as an inducement to relocate.
I believe part of that appeal is the innovation and the entrepreneurship of our students, like Jennifer Kennedy. Entrepreneurship is not just an academic discipline at CU, but a way of thinking by students and faculty in all disciplines.
I feel this entrepreneurial ethos has contributed greatly to the fact that we have spun out 76 companies based on CU-Boulder technologies over the last 20 years.
One of those companies is ColdQuanta. ColdQuanta produces high-performance, cutting-edge ultacold atom technology with potential applications in a wide range of commercial settings, ranging from atomic clocks, to improved navigation of submarines and spacecraft, and even quantum computing.
ColdQuanta demonstrates how university research is central to manufacturing. Its products utilize a new state of matter first demonstrated by physicists Carl Wieman and Eric Cornell who were awarded a Nobel Prize for their work. Because of work like this our atomic and molecular optical physics program has been rated No. 1 every year since 2006 by U.S. News and World Report.
ColdQuanta is entering a new frontier by making this new state of matter accessible. Once you make technology accessible its applications balloon. Look at lasers. Once laser technology became accessible it resulted in everything from laser surgery to laser pointers to your DVD.
At CU, the research group of Henry Kapteyn and Margaret Murnane develops ultrafast lasers and x-rays important for the development of nano-devices. In 1994 they founded KM Labs to commercialize their work to make their innovations available to companies developing technologies such as micro-machining.
Making technology accessible is one of the most important roles of a university. At CU this can be said of biotech, clean-tech and aerospace
Scientists from many different disciplines in the BioFrontiers Institute are pioneering medical devices and diagnostic tools.
In clean tech we're working to improve energy, technology, and transportation with our partners at NREL through our Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, our electrical engineering department and the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, which was reauthorized and funded by the Governor last Friday. One example is improved battery technology.
Our leadership in aerospace has been documented but technology from aerospace is transferrable to other industries like clean energy for instance. Aerospace and wind energy both rely on turbines and so there is a cross-over in technology. Lightweight aerospace materials are also applicable in other areas of manufacturing such as bio-mechanics.
So I've talked about the importance of workforce training and how basic and applied research is a foundation for manufacturing. The third prong to the university's role in manufacturing is industry collaboration. The Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics has partnerships with SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace and others. I've already mentioned MAVEN. When industry and universities combine forces, powerful things happen.
In September we opened our Office of Industry Collaboration as our front door to industry partnership. This includes collaboration around research, building and testing prototypes, using CU facilities and equipment, or offering faculty expertise.
The office is directed by Caroline Himes, who was the executive associate director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics for 16 years. If you have any ideas, suggestions or want to apprise yourself of its services, please contact Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The university plays an important and varied role in advanced manufacturing. This is supported by our state's leadership. Gov. John Hickenlooper, has proven himself a leader in advanced manufacturing programming.
Gov. Hickenlooper launched the Colorado Innovation Network in 2011 to promote collaboration of Colorado's private, public and academic organizations. I'm pleased to serve on that board. The Colorado Innovation Network is a privately funded organization in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
Our next speaker, Ken Lund, is executive director of that office, and I am looking forward to his talk as I'm sure you. Thank you for joining us today.