Turning World-Class Research into Economic Opportunities

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Ahh, English proverbs. Popularly defined as short expressions of popular wisdom that are more widely used to articulate an attitude toward a situation.

  • Ability can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
  • The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

It was at the N.C. Biotechnology Center yesterday, listening to Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation that inspired me to think even further about the collaborative culture of the Research Triangle Region. Minister Burton characterized Ireland’s trade mission to North Carolina in this wise, poetic way:

  • If you come together, both with an apple, you will have an apple. But, if you come each with something different, then, you really have something to share.

Joining the Minister on the Enterprise Ireland-supported mission were representatives from 60 Irish companies and universities. Highlighting their two-day North Carolina itinerary was a visit to the Research Triangle Park (RTP), characterized by the delegation as one of the world’s top and most vibrant biotech innovation hubs. Throughout the day, representatives from the Triangle’s top universities engaged in discussions themed around turning world-class research into economic opportunities.

Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation visits RTP

While visiting the RTP Headquarters, the Minister also met with leaders from the UCD/RTI Applied Research Center (ARC). ARC is a joint venture between applied research leader, Research Triangle International (RTI) and Ireland’s largest research university, University College Dublin (UCD). Together, the institutes are driving initiatives whose efforts will help address significant global challenges such as health and aging, social and economic well-being, and the environment.

“North Carolina has an exceptional record of creating practical economic opportunities from world-class research,” said Gerry Murphy, Director for North America at Enterprise Ireland. “Your strategy to invest in research, attract the best scientific brains and smartest business operators, and link them with capital represents the gold-standard blueprint for a 21st century knowledge economy. Given the similar ambitions of North Carolina and Ireland in driving the knowledge economy, we see significant scope for ongoing collaboration.”

Some of the most profound discoveries have been influenced by scientists and researchers working in RTP. It is through collaboration and partnership that the spirit of discovery and innovation continues to flourish.

Opportunity is waiting, you need but to open the door.

Building a smarter planet through serious gaming

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The Triangle Area Research Directors Council (TARDC) is an informal group of scientific leaders from organizations in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina who meet monthly to discuss subjects of interest to the high-impact research community.

The organization was founded in 1974 by George Herbert (then President of RTI International) as a convenient way for leaders of the local research organizations and universities to meet each other and discuss topics of common interest.

The March TARDC program featured speaker Phaedra Boinodiris discussing serious gaming initiatives and technology. Phaedra is a Serious Games Program Manager at IBM where she is helping craft IBM’s serious games strategy in technical training, marketing, and leadership skill building. She is the founder of the award-winning INNOV8program, a series of games that teaches and evangelizes Business Process Management. INNOV8 is being used in over 1000 schools worldwide and is now available for public consumption.

IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign demonstrates how our planet is more interconnected, intelligent and Instrumented than ever before. Technical innovations are being leveraged across industry to revolutionize and optimize businesses, cities, and the environment. How can technology be used to explain the potential of these complex innovations? How can serious games and simulation personalize the experience and lend to a better understanding via personal discovery?

Check out a few video segments of her presentation: TARDC March Program. High quality versions will be available on the RTP YouTube channel shortly.