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U of M President Speaks at White House

For release: October 4, 2012
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843

University of Memphis President Dr. Shirley Raines spoke at the White House on Oct. 1, discussing innovative and entrepreneurial ideas that she has implemented during her U of M presidency. She was a panelist with presidents from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Florida and the former president of the University of Massachusetts. The discussion was moderated by John Holdren, the White House science and technology adviser.

Raines was invited to appear on the White House panel by the U.S. Department of Commerce to be a part of that organization’s forum, “The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University.” The letter of invitation said, “We have been very impressed with the approaches taken by the University of Memphis – in terms of corporate partnerships, campus engagement and an entrepreneurship agenda.”


The letter went on to say, “We specifically thought of you as a speaker for several reasons. First, because of the innovative partnership with FedEx, which we believe is a national model for universities working closely with the leading companies in their region on issues related to innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, we were impressed with some of the campus programs like the incubator and its support services that Kevin Boggs so ably spoke to us about.”

Boggs is assistant vice president for Technology Transfer at the FedEx Institute of Technology. The FedEx Institute coordinates research efforts by U of M faculty, and the Tech Transfer office works to license those research findings and obtain patents for them so that they can have commercial value.

The FedEx Institute supports research teams from diverse science, technology, engineering and business departments which have the common goal of developing and applying novel solutions to meet real needs. The Institute’s engagement efforts bring the University in touch with a wide contingent of the corporate, government and non-profit leaders, decision-makers and innovators of Memphis and Shelby County.

The Institute also provides programs and resources to help faculty and students start their own companies. Opened in 2003, the Institute’s physical facility is a 95,000-sq. ft. home for research labs, classrooms and meeting venues. The Institute features wireless Internet access, videoconferencing capability, and a sophisticated audience response system.


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