Welcome to Colorado. I am glad that you are here. It’s great to have so many people here from across the globe.

Colorado is a very appropriate place for this conference. It boasts the nation’s third-highest concentration of tech workers. Colorado is home to 26 federal labs, which of course rely on high-speed networking to move data and conduct analyses.

In my hometown of Boulder, a university community 30 minutes from here, it is no surprise that it is among the Top 5 cities nationwide in patent production, according to the Brookings Institution. And it’s No. 1 in startups, says Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 

Why is that not surprising? Because Brookings links the presence of research universities, a highly educated and scientifically-trained workforce, and an environment of collaboration to a community’s innovation quotient.

By that and other measures, Boulder, Denver and Colorado are a center of innovation.  A new U.S. Patent Office is being located here in Downtown Denver, and Internet2 is opening offices here -- reflective of the state's expansive culture of innovation.

To further enhance that culture, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper created the Colorado Innovation Network to promote collaboration of Colorado's private, public and academic organizations. I’m pleased to serve on that board.

Research depends on high-performance networking and supports innovation. Innovation leads to patents and start-ups.

This morning we will be talking about how Internet2 benefits universities and its partnerships. Here’s an example. Colorado is third in the nation in the size of its aerospace workforce and I’m proud that CU-Boulder is integral to the success of that sector. Four months ago we launched the next Mars explorer, working with NASA and our industry partners. We couldn’t do that without moving massive amounts of data quickly. As I speak, our explorer is making its 36 million mile trip to Mars, arriving in September.

Similarly, our work also supports the bioscience, technology and clean energy industries, all of which are growing in Colorado.

In fact most of the 27 start-ups inspired by CU-Boulder research in the last five years have been in the biotech industry.

As research has migrated from private industry labs to university labs in the last 40-50 years, the importance of the Future of the University -- in both research and education -- cannot be overstated.

I cannot think of anyone better to lead a discussion on the Future of the University than today’s keynote speaker, the Honorable Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. She is president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological university in the United States.

Dr. Jackson is the former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and is a current member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

She is an inductee in the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering.

Time Magazine has called her “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science.” A theoretical physicist, Dr. Jackson has had a distinguished career that includes senior leadership positions in government, business, research and academe.

We are fortunate to have her address us today.

Please help me welcome Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.