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President Johnson joins council to support innovation and entrepreneurship

Leaders in technology, innovation, workforce development and academia appointed to council

Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson will serve as a co-chair of a new council to help the U.S. remain the “world’s leading startup nation.”

Last month, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the appointment of 32 leaders and experts to the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

NACIE is tasked with developing a national entrepreneurship strategy to strengthen America’s ability to compete and win as the world’s leading startup nation and as the world’s leading innovator in critical emerging technologies.

President Kristina M. Johnson“We must invest further in our entrepreneurs and innovators so that America continues to lead the world in discovering and commercializing critical technologies. At the same time, we must better ensure that more communities throughout the country are included in the ecosystems that will generate these critical innovations. The Biden Administration looks forward to tapping the expertise of the new NACIE members to build a better America and further strengthen our competitiveness on the global stage,” Raimondo said. “I applaud these individuals – leaders in their respective fields of industry, workforce development, academia, technology and innovation – for their commitment to serve.”

“The United States has some of the world’s greatest creative minds and boundless resources, yet the ranking as the topmost innovative country has eluded us. The higher education sector, long recognized as one of our nation’s most significant assets, has a critical role to play in securing our rightful position as a leading global innovator,” Johnson said. “At Ohio State, we have always valued the power and importance of the innovation economy, spending $1.24 billion on research in 2022 alone as part of an ambitious plan to double expenditures over the next decade. As a member of the advisory council, I am proud to share this commitment and put what we have learned to work to create new opportunities for the next generation of STEM experts.” 

Johnson joins Revolution CEO and former AOL founder Steve Case as voting non-federal co-chairs. Members of the council come from higher education, the technology industry and the venture capital community.

The council will work to identify and recommend solutions to drive the innovation economy, including growing a skilled STEM workforce and removing barriers for entrepreneurs ushering innovative technologies into the market. The council also facilitates federal dialogue with the innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development communities.

“The technological, societal and economic challenges that we face as a nation today require even stronger bridges between discovery, innovation and commercialization,” said National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, who will serve as a federal ex-officio co-chair. “I’m excited to work with the NACIE to help advance the highly integrated research and innovation ecosystem, with a particular focus on expanding the geography of innovation by engaging with diverse communities all across the country.”

Ohio State’s Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge is an example of academia, government and industry supporting startups that drive innovation. University research expenditures for the 2021 fiscal year were $1.236 billion. Since fiscal year 2017, 75 startups have been formed from technology developed at Ohio State technology.

“As a land-grant research university, it is our responsibility to translate our discoveries and knowledge for the greater good,” said Grace Wang, executive vice president of research, innovation and knowledge at Ohio State. “President Johnson’s leadership and unique experiences will help amplify higher education institutions’ critical role in our innovation economy and inform a national conversation on how we can cultivate and grow entrepreneurship and deepen cross-sector partnerships.”

NACIE is a federal advisory committee managed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. More than 260 nominations were received. Members will serve two-year terms.

A full list of council members is posted on the NACIE website.

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