Penn State President Eric Barron will serve as the chairman of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), according to a release from the university. The commission is part of the national Association of Public Land-Grant Universities and its purpose is to promote the growth of local economies throughout the United States.
“APLU is looking forward to Eric Barron’s leadership of CICEP,” said Jim Woodell, APLU vice president for economic development & community engagement, in the release. “His work at Penn State has positioned him well to guide the commission into its second decade of defining and influencing university economic engagement.”
“President Barron’s vision for entrepreneurship at Penn State — including the creation of innovation hubs statewide through the Invent Penn State initiative, and advancing student entrepreneurship — will surely help to shape CICEP’s direction, and will foster development of new strategies and practices for university partnerships for economic development and student career success.”
During his tenure as Penn State president, Barron has promoted the growth of 48 startup companies with a total investment of more than $900,000. The university currently has around $2 million invested into thousands of researchers, faculty members, and student interns working on more than 400 industry research contracts.
“Public institutions of higher education are in a unique position to drive economic development, job growth and student career success,” Barron said in the release, “and we need to harness the incredible abilities of our students and researchers, and nurture and reward innovators and big thinkers.”
“My goal as chair of this APLU commission will be to challenge all institutions to use the resources available to them to bring discoveries to the marketplace. To create a culture of entrepreneurship where our students can make their visions a reality. To promote economic development through start up programs, needed expert advice, space on campus, and competitive grants that will create a comprehensive and integrative environment for entrepreneurial activity to flourish.”