Regional Innovation Clusters: Advancing the Next Economy

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Join state and local policymakers, members of the Obama administration, and leaders from the business, academic, and philanthropic sectors for a conversation about the significance of regional innovation clusters to the future of the American economy.

Hear from CEOs and regional leaders who are leveraging the power of clusters—networks of interconnected, geographically concentrated businesses, and related actors in the same industries—to boost entrepreneurship and job growth. Also learn about new directions in federal policy aimed at tapping the potential of clusters to enhance regional and national economic performance.


8:00—8:45 a.m.
Registration and breakfast

8:45—9:00 a.m.
Welcome and framing of the day

Bruce Katz, Brookings Vice-President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings
Derek Douglas, Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Domestic Policy Council

9:00—9:30 a.m.
Opening keynote

The Honorable Gary Locke, Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce

9:30—10:30 a.m.
Panel discussion: Clusters as job creators

Moderated by:
William Bates, Vice President for Government Affairs, Council on Competitiveness

Albert Green, CEO, Kent Displays
Allison Hooper, Founder, Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery
Ashutosh Misra, Senior Vice President, Ascent Solar Technologies
Helen Greiner, Founder, iRobot

10:30—10:45 a.m.

10:45—11:45 a.m.
Panel discussion: Regional actors strengthening clusters

Moderated by:
Matthew Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Development Organizations

Luis Proenza, President, The University of Akron
Richard Lunak, President and CEO, Innovation Works
Duane Roth, CEO, CONNECT
Betsy Biemann, President, Maine Technology Institute

11:45 a.m.—12:15 p.m.

12:15—12:45 p.m.

12:45—1:15 p.m.
Luncheon keynote

Introduction by:
Deborah Wince-Smith, President & CEO, Council on Competitiveness

John Lechleiter, Ph.D. ,Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eli Lilly and Company

1:15—1:45 p.m.
Afternoon framing remarks

Introduction by:
Sarah Rosen-Wartell, Executive Vice President, Center for American Progress

Remarks by:
Jason Furman, Deputy Director, National Economic Council

1:45—2:45 p.m.
Panel discussion: Federal cluster policies and initiatives

Moderated by:
Kate Gordon, Vice-President of Energy Policy, Center for American Progress

Karen Mills, Administrator, Small Business Administration
John Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and Administrator, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Kristina Johnson, Undersecretary for Energy, Department of Energy
Victor Vasquez, Deputy Under Secretary, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture

2:45—3:15 p.m.
Closing remarks

Introduction by:
Sarah Rosen-Wartell, Executive Vice President, Center for American Progress

The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture


Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036

Additional information

Breakfast and Lunch will be served.