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September 07, 2017

Department of Higher Education participating in new effort to increase innovation in Missouri
Governor’s task force makes recommendations to spur entrepreneurship

The Department of Higher Education will partner with the Missouri governor’s office, other state agencies and business leaders in an effort to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.

The new initiative stems from the Governor’s Innovation Task Force, spearheaded this summer by the Hawthorne Foundation, a non-partisan organization focused on strengthening the state’s economy. The task force report – delivered to the governor on Sept. 5 – emphasizes a collaborative, statewide approach to support innovation and create jobs.

“Missouri can be the leader in innovation and new business startups between the coasts in the next 10 years,” said Gov. Eric Greitens.

The task force, a group of 33 academic, business, government, and civic leaders and entrepreneurs, offered a wide range of policy recommendations in its report, including the need for increased talent and workforce development and more collaboration between universities and industry.

“Higher education plays a key role in providing Missouri with a quality workforce and research that spurs innovation,” said Zora Mulligan, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “Our colleges and universities are committed to working with business and economic development leaders to provide Missourians with the knowledge and skills necessary to support entrepreneurial efforts and contribute to a strong economy.”

Other task force recommendations include:

  • The need for a bold, unifying vision for Missouri to become a nationwide center for innovation.
  • A reduction of regulations that present a barrier to entrepreneurial efforts.
  • The need for Missouri to better promote its successes in innovation to attract investors, entrepreneurs and a talented workforce.
  • Long-term support that enables entrepreneurs, investors, business and other stakeholders to make sound investment decisions.
  • Additional funding to help startups form and grow.

In the coming months, state leaders will review the recommendations to identify those with the most potential to increase innovation and entrepreneurship in Missouri.

For more information about the Governor’s Innovation Task Force, visit hawthornfoundation.org/ee-task-forces.