State News

Commerce secretary touts brainpower in business

Posted March 15, 2011

— A member of President Obama's cabinet and Gov. Beverly Perdue are trying to focus attention on the business potential of building brainpower at the country's universities.

The National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which tries to improve how ideas and research from federally funded university labs reach the marketplace, held its first public meeting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Tuesday. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke urged UNC and other university educators to focus on creating new businesses and jobs.

”How do we take the great research that’s occurring in places like Chapel Hill and get them commercialized so they make great products and services that benefit people, not just in America but all around the world?” Locke said.

The Obama administration's view is that universities and other higher education institutions are critical to promoting innovation and keeping America competitive in the 21st century.

During the last 25 to 30 years, about 40 million jobs were created by businesses that were less than 5 years old at the time, Locke said. The U.S. needs dozens of start-ups every year to grow into billion-dollar companies, he added.

"It first starts with those start-up companies, those innovators, those entrepreneurs that have a great idea, whether working at a university or college or working in someone’s garage,” he said. "They start off small, but eventually they become the Googles, the Intels, the Microsofts of the world, and we need more of those.”

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said he wants to see the Triangle compete successfully with San Francisco and Boston for new business development. He said the biggest challenge may be attracting savvy business strategists away from the larger high-tech hubs.

"It's not just how to do we get things started, but how do we grow them to big enough businesses that they make a dent in the jobs picture for America,” Thorp said.


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  • Proud Black Constitutionalist Mar 16, 2011

    Any mention of brainpower with this administration is an oxymoron.

  • whatusay Mar 16, 2011

    Government is not the answer. Why does the Obama admin believe they can solve problems, when they only make them worse?

  • pbjbeach Mar 15, 2011

    Whils brain power is probably good it is not so good that it has to root out all others from the jobs market just because they do not have a four year college degree i personaly would rather have someone working for me with more hands on actual ecperience in the field of endevor whatever that filed might be than to have some one with a ph'd that is unless you are specking in the fileds of medician or nucluer propolsion or nuclear sientist or some other higher feild of learning but i most instances i woould perferr the hands on experience to the supposely educated normal run of the mill college grad that has none what so ever experience under their belts an in most cases without any common senese what so ever but just book learning that in the actual field conditions will not cut it an acutally be able to performa nactually get the needed job done in the real world circumstances thank you

  • VanC Mar 15, 2011

    Government grants fuel research in all segments. Without it, pharmaceutical research, for instance, would only be done in the "hot" diseases, like mental illness, cancer, diabetes, heart disease.

  • fishon Mar 15, 2011

    Who writes these headlines? Have they no shame?

  • cwood3 Mar 15, 2011

    Get the government out of the way. Let private enterprise


  • br549znc Mar 15, 2011

    Learn how to use proper grammar.

  • mallorypickard1 Mar 15, 2011

    There's also another headline error, 'Travelers from Japan faces bumpy road home'. Just fyi.

  • EyesintheSkies Mar 15, 2011

    There's a lot of brainpower to "touts". Touts away, WRAL.

  • ncspamfish Mar 15, 2011

    even microsoft word recognizes a grammatical error when it see one. and "word" has no brainpower.