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