Innovation manifests itself in so many ways and forms – scientific, artistic, social, commercial – and in so many places. I would like to stress that one thing we continue to do more here at UNM is to celebrate innovation everywhere we see it. Last week was a great one in terms of telling our collective innovation story. The many people and partnerships it takes to establish and maintain this type of culture is a testament to what can be accomplished by continuously engaging our community in thoughtful and deliberate approaches to developing solutions to our shared challenges.
Partnering to Create New and Lasting Community Development Solutions
Living Cities, founded in 1991, is a collaborative group of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions, which combines financial resources with talent and ingenuity in selected cities to create solutions to societal challenges. Last week, Mayor Berry announced that Albuquerque has been selected by Living Cities as one of five cities in the U.S. to receive funds for projects designed to meet the economic needs of the community. Albuquerque will receive a grant of $100,000 for planning, and could receive tens of millions of dollars for large projects that will improve job creation and economic mobility for Albuquerque citizens. This is great news for all of us at UNM, as it could have a large impact on our Innovate ABQ initiative. UNM has been leading the way on collaborative entrepreneurial initiatives with Innovate ABQ, which supports the UNM2020 goal to advance and accelerate economic development. This important development puts us at the forefront of economic growth in New Mexico, and gives our students and faculty a major advantage in the work force. Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities, referred to Albuquerque as "one of five cities in the nation that we think has great potential to be a long term innovation partner with Living Cities." This is an impressive statement about Albuquerque. The city's proposal, in which Innovate ABQ was a critical component, was selected among several others as a meaningful investment and part of this second phase of the organization's Integration Initiative.
CNM Expands the Innovation Community
The entrepreneurial efforts in Downtown Albuquerque continue to grow, and so does the number of institutions and organizations that support these efforts. Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) President Katharine Winograd announced their plans to open a STEMulus Center in the First Plaza Galleria downtown. It is exciting to see CNM jump on board with the Downtown revitalization efforts. The new CNM STEMulus Center and Innovate ABQ complement each other well, both support entrepreneurial studies, but to different audiences. With these two ambitious and innovative efforts, CNM and UNM are both leveraging their unique expertise to increase the economic prospects for our region.
Congratulations to Woman of Positive Influence and Leadership
When we talk about the innovative efforts of our institution and city, it is important that we recognize the people behind the scenes. Michèle Huff is a great example of people who make research and innovation possible, through her facilitation of legal protection of innovative ideas created within the University or by University faculty. Albuquerque Business First recently recognized 30 New Mexican Women of Influence for their inspiring contributions within six career industries. These women have made an impressive mark on the community and have excelled in their career fields. Michèle, UNM senior associate university counsel and interim special assistant to the Vice President for Research, was one of the three women selected in the education category this year. Her legal advice for the University focuses on research, intellectual property, technological licensing and information technology. Her work makes partnership research possible while protecting the interests of the University, our faculty and our students. Thank you to Michèle, for your tireless efforts continue to push UNM to be an extraordinary research institution that encourages discovery and entrepreneurship.
Mountain West Tournament
Our Lobo athletes continue to make us proud, and represent UNM and the entire state to a national audience. I want to wish both our men's and women's Lobo basketball teams the best of luck this week as they represent UNM and the great state of New Mexico in the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas.
Have a great week and Go Lobos!
Office of the President: Weekly Perspective – 3.10.2014