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The University’s Innovation Ecosystem 
A Rainforest in the Desert 
University Economic Development Association – Annual Su...
The Rainforest Model for Innovation 
Systems (Hwang, Horowitt) 
 A Rainforest is a human ecosystem in which human creativ...
Create a Rainforest in the Desert 
 How to Build Innovation Ecosystems 
Talent 
Money 
Coaches & Mentors 
Academia & Rese...
Timeline 
 Sept. 2012 – First UNM Economic Development Summit 
 Nov. 2012 – UNM President Robert Frank Receives Final Re...
STC’s Economic Development Activities 
Innovation Academy 
UNM President 
UNM Economic 
Development Council 
STC.UNM 
Econ...
UNM Start-ups are spread throughout 
Albuquerque 
Comet Solutions (2155 Louisiana Blvd NE – 2,500 sqft) 
Intellicyt (9620 ...
Innovate ABQsm is… 
A Highly-Connected Community Where People Live, Work, Play 
 Leveraging the research power of the Uni...
The Mission 
Innovate ABQsm is envisioned to: 
 Strengthen the economic base of the mid Rio Grande region and 
the State ...
Innovate ABQsm Innovation District
Partnerships 
 Leveraging both the assets of the city and the 
University, Innovate ABQsm will be a catalyst for a new 
i...
2014 UEDA Annual 
summit 
Carol A. Parker 
Senior Vice Provost
Innovation Academy 
A Pedagogy. Not Just a Place.
Skills Needed to Succeed in the World of 
Work
Can We Teach Creativity, Critical Thinking 
and Problem Solving? 
Where Do Good Ideas 
Come From? 
Innovation Academy
Fostering Creativity, Critical Thinking and 
Problem Solving 
1 real-world, problem-based and 
community-engaged learning ...
Real World 
Problem Solving
Skills Assessment
Some Interdisciplinary Pilot Projects 
1 innovative design clinic 
2 diplomacy lab 
3 technology entrepreneurship 
4 photo...
InnovateABQ. Innovation Academy.
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The University’s Innovation Ecosystem— A Rainforest in the Desert - Elizabeth J. Kuuttila, Carol Parker

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The University of New Mexico’s economic development objectives are fostering a Rainforest in the Desert. The idea is based on the rainforest model for innovation systems (developed by serial entrepreneurs and investors Victor Hwang and Greg Horowitt), and is a human ecosystem in which human creativity, business acumen, scientific discovery, investment capital, and other elements come together in a special recipe that nurtures budding ideas so they can grow into flourishing and sustainable enterprises. Designing, building, and sustaining a rainforest culture takes a distinct set of social behaviors. STC.UNM is uniquely positioned to facilitate this process because, in the vernacular of the Rainforest, STC.UNM is a keystone species. Keystones create connections among people with ideas, talent, knowledge, and capital by breaking down traditional hierarchies and reaching across social boundaries. The panel will highlight STC’s activities in building an innovation ecosystem and will discuss fostering a culture of entrepreneurship through UNM’s new Innovation Academy program.

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The University’s Innovation Ecosystem— A Rainforest in the Desert - Elizabeth J. Kuuttila, Carol Parker

  1. 1. The University’s Innovation Ecosystem A Rainforest in the Desert University Economic Development Association – Annual Summit October 25, 2012 1 September 30, 2014 Presented by: Lisa Kuuttila CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer STC.UNM kuuttila@stc.unm.edu
  2. 2. The Rainforest Model for Innovation Systems (Hwang, Horowitt)  A Rainforest is a human ecosystem in which human creativity, business acumen, scientific discovery, investment capital, and other elements come together in a special recipe that nurtures budding ideas so they can grow into flourishing and sustainable enterprises.
  3. 3. Create a Rainforest in the Desert  How to Build Innovation Ecosystems Talent Money Coaches & Mentors Academia & Research Business Support Services Access to Global Markets & Supply Chains News & Media Outlets Source: The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley Ideas & Inventions Government Trade & Industry Organizations Education & Workforce Development Real Estate & Business Infrastructure Culture, Societal Values, Models, Rule of Law
  4. 4. Timeline  Sept. 2012 – First UNM Economic Development Summit  Nov. 2012 – UNM President Robert Frank Receives Final Report from Economic Development Summit  Nov. 2013 – New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union Donate $3 million for Innovate ABQsm  Nov. 2013 – UNM Awarded $1.5 million EDA grant  Jan. 2014 – Economic Development Council formed  Feb. 2014 – Innovation Academy Design Begins  Feb. 2014 – Bernalillo County Joins Innovate ABQsm with $1 million  March 2014 – Mayor announces Albuquerque is part of Living Cities Initiative  July 2014 – Property closing for Central and Broadway site  Jan. 2015 – Master Planning competed
  5. 5. STC’s Economic Development Activities Innovation Academy UNM President UNM Economic Development Council STC.UNM Economic Development UNM Economic Development Forum
  6. 6. UNM Start-ups are spread throughout Albuquerque Comet Solutions (2155 Louisiana Blvd NE – 2,500 sqft) Intellicyt (9620 San Mateo Blvd NE – 8,000 sqft) NanoMR (5741 Midway Park Blvd – 19,000 sqft) Eta Diagnostics (near Menaul and Carlisle– 13,000 sqft) K&A Wireless (2617 Juan Tabo Blvd NE) Pucara Engineering and Logistics, LLC (Tijeras, NM) Exagen Diagnostics (800 Bradbury Drive SE Suite 108) Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC) • Dynamic Photonics, Ecopesticides International (1155 University Blvd. SE Shared‐office – 225 sqft) Incubator Space • BioScience Center (5901 Indian School Rd NE) • 19,500 sqft building; 2500 sqft lab space • Biophagy • Oligocide (1000 sqft lab and office) • Avisa Pharma, Inc. • Azano Health • AgilVax • InLight Solutions, Inc. • Respira • UNM STP & Cecchi Venture Lab (University & Bradbury) • SKINfrared (2000 sqft) • Lumidigm • Tyrosine Pharmaceuticals • Verge Building (317 Commercial St. NE) • TruTouch • Pajarito Powder (200 sqft office; 2000 sqft manufacturing) • WESST Enterprise Center (609 Broadway Blvd. NE) No designated office space • Accelera Diagnostics • PanMuse • Quatros • Transmix Safe Lock, Inc. (36 sqft desk space) • ThermoDynamics Films, LLC (100 sqft of kitchen) • Batterade, LLC • Wedge Health Communications • Alpine Biosciences • Nanocrystal LLC • First Photonics • truSecSys • VisionQuest Biomedical Of the 45 active start‐up companies based on UNM Technology that STC has helped to spin‐off, 36 of them are located throughout the Albuquerque area, with no geographic proximity. We have no synergy of place.
  7. 7. Innovate ABQsm is… A Highly-Connected Community Where People Live, Work, Play  Leveraging the research power of the University of New Mexico and the workforce development engine of Central New Mexico Community College  Engaging the City of Albuquerque, the County of Bernalillo, and the State of New Mexico  Connecting with the Albuquerque’s Entrepreneurial and Established Business Community To create new companies, grow existing ones and attract more out-of-state business and individuals who will expand our ecosystem.
  8. 8. The Mission Innovate ABQsm is envisioned to:  Strengthen the economic base of the mid Rio Grande region and the State of New Mexico through the advancement of knowledge worker jobs (knowledge worker jobs create other jobs).  Create opportunities for the knowledge workers graduating from our educational institutions and those experienced workers in the community.  Provide entrepreneurial training and support at many levels.
  9. 9. Innovate ABQsm Innovation District
  10. 10. Partnerships  Leveraging both the assets of the city and the University, Innovate ABQsm will be a catalyst for a new innovation economy in Albuquerque.
  11. 11. 2014 UEDA Annual summit Carol A. Parker Senior Vice Provost
  12. 12. Innovation Academy A Pedagogy. Not Just a Place.
  13. 13. Skills Needed to Succeed in the World of Work
  14. 14. Can We Teach Creativity, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving? Where Do Good Ideas Come From? Innovation Academy
  15. 15. Fostering Creativity, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 1 real-world, problem-based and community-engaged learning opportunities in partnership with business, community and government leaders 2 interdisciplinary content and context 3 skills assessment
  16. 16. Real World Problem Solving
  17. 17. Skills Assessment
  18. 18. Some Interdisciplinary Pilot Projects 1 innovative design clinic 2 diplomacy lab 3 technology entrepreneurship 4 photonics in medicine 5 built environment solutions for community health 6 shark tank talks 7 futures design lab 8 etc.
  19. 19. InnovateABQ. Innovation Academy.

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