2024 International Conference Agenda
Conference Headquarters: The Ledger


 
Download the PDF version of the agenda here

Monday, November 11th

9:00am - 4:00pm

TOURS: THE COLLABORATIVE, THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

9:00am - 12:00pm

Leadership Roundtable – Succession Planning 
Additional registration fee 

Chair: Leah Burton, Immediate Past President, AURP; Principal Industry Consultant for Higher Education, SAS Institute

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Meet the Leaders: Communities of Innovation 101
Additional registration fee 

Chair: Kate Engel, Executive Director, Nebraska Innovation Campus, University of Nebraska, Lincoln 
 

4:00pm - 5:00pm

New Member and First-Time Attendee Happy Hour
New Members and First-Time Attendees are encourage to join in this networking reception to connect with AURP Board of Directors. Kicking off the conference will welcoming peers will set the stage for intense networking and lasting partnerships.

6:30pm

AURP Board of Directors’ Sponsor Appreciation Dinner
By invitation only.
At this annual celebration of our sponsors, we raise a toast in celebration of their support. Knowing that networking and collaboration is top of mind, we gather for merriment before experiencing NWA innovation community and great diversity.

Tuesday, November 12th

 8:00am - 10:00am

WOMEN OF AURP
Location: The Ledger

HOW TO LEAD AND LAST: Proven Ways to Cultivate Innovation, Engagement, and Retention Starting Within!
The untapped power of an organization or park is closely tied to a critical yet frequently overlooked connection: how personal well-being directly impactsprofessional achievement. All too often we focus on our professional growth yet forget that our personal well-being is the key to growth in all areas of our life. People frequently overlook their own physical and mental health, which in turn affects their effectiveness, efficiency, and impacts their ability to retain and engage their own teams. 
In her presentation, Dr. Theresa Larson, Founder of Movement Rx and Marine Corps veteran will reveal practical strategies that leaders of parks can easily incorporate into their everyday routines and workspace to boost not only their success in all areas, yet their teams and their parks.

Patricia Carper, Senior Vice President, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Dr. Theresa Larson, DPT, CSCS, USMC, Founder of Movement Rx; Marine Corps Veteran on a mission to Humanize Leadership
Vickie Palmer, Chief Executive Officer, AURP 

9:00am - 10:00am

Networking and Roundtable Discussion Topics

10:00am - 10:30am

Load Motorcoaches for Fayetteville
Transportation will depart promptly at 10:30 

10:30am - 12:00pm

TOUR: THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS RESEARCH PARK
To Advance with Truth as our Leader

12:00pm - 1:15pm

WELCOME & NETWORKING LUNCHEON

Erin Koshut, President, AURP; Executive Director, Cummings Research Park  
Mike Malone, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University of Arkansas    
Dr. Charles F. Robinson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas 

1:15pm - 1:45pm

OPENING KEYNOTE
INNOVATION DRIVING NORTHWEST ARKANSAS: UA’S ASSETS & STRATEGY FOR TRAILBLAZING    

Toby Teeter, Director, The Collaborative  
Mike Malone, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University of Arkansas 

1:45pm - 2:00pm

GENERAL SESSION
UA’S CONVERGENCE RESEARCH FOR SOCIETAL IMPACT: The Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research I3R    

Dr. Ranu Jung, Founding Executive Director & Endowed Chair, Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research (I3R)  

2:00pm - 2:25pm

GENERAL SESSION
THE LIBRARY: THE ORIGINAL CENTER FOR INNOVATION AND LITERACY    

David Johnson, Executive Director, Fayetteville Public Library 

2:25pm - 2:45pm

INNOVATIVE PROGRAM
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, TRANSFORMATIONAL EXPERIENCES – OEI’S APPROACH TO STUDENT ENGAGEMENT  
How can experiential learning programs focused on entrepreneurship and innovation enhance student success and grow a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem? This session will cover how the University of Arkansas’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation approaches experiential learning by diving deep into three of our most successful student programs. We will share our methodology, strategy, and impact of these three programs so you can leave inspired to create or improve experiential programs of your own.    

Jessica Andrews, Associate Director, McMillon Innovation Studio, University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation  
Deb Williams, Senior Director, Operations & Student Programs, University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation 

2:45pm - 3:15pm

NETWORKING BREAK

3:15pm - 3:30pm

INNOVATIVE PROGRAM
THE PLACES OF INNOVATION: A NATIONAL REVIEW OF INNOVATION DISTRICTS  
In 2021, Ohio invested $300 million into the three world-class innovation districts located in the three major cities in Ohio. To better inform the development and ongoing growth of these three districts, the Center for Economic Development employed a qualitative approach to inform the research around innovation districts to drive innovation. The examination of nine innovation districts focuses on structure and operations, funding and growth, and place-based elements such as transportation, housing, and collaboration.    

Molly Schnoke, Director, Center for Economic Development, The Levin College of Public Affairs, Cleveland State University  
Kristen Blazek, PhD, Research Associate, Center for Economic Development, The Levin College of Public Affairs, Cleveland State University 

3:30pm - 4:00pm

GENERAL SESSION
THE NEED FOR CREATIVE APPROACHES TO ENSURE A TRAINED AND SKILLED WORKFORCE  
Traditional approaches for preparing a high-tech STEM workforce are not adequate alone to meet growing demand. Industry informed training and partnerships among secondary schools, community colleges, university systems including historically black colleges and universities (HSBCU’s), government, and other support organizations are critical to ensure a workforce is available with skills competencies to meet employers’ needs. In this panel, hear about challenges employers in research parks are facing, learn about innovative approaches to solving workforce demands, and walk away with new ideas to implement in your community.    

Gabriella Gonzalez, PhD, Program Officer, Richard King Mellon Foundation  
Chris White, Vice Chairman and Southeast Regional Leader, Savills (invited)  
Debra Lam, Founding Executive Director, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, Georgia Institute for Technology (invited) 
Moderator: Kevin Byrne, Past President, AURP; President and Chief Executive Officer, The University Financing Foundation

4:00pm - 4:30pm

GENERAL SESSION
NSF REGIONAL INNOVATION ENGINES PROGRAM AND BUILDER PLATFORM    

Sarah Goforth, Program Director, Regional Innovation Engines, National Science Foundation  
Joda Thongnopnua, Program Director, Special Advisor for the Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate, National Science Foundation  
Julie Huls, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Waymaker Group 
Moderator: Philip Hockberger, Partner and Scientific Advisor, Waymaker Group

4:30pm - 4:35pm

DAILY WRAP-UP & REMARKS/NEW MEMBER RECOGNITION
AURP’s newest members will be celebrated. Organizations that have joined since the 2023 International Conference will be recognized and receive their membership certificate.

Erin Koshut, President, AURP; Executive Director, Cummings Research Park 

4:35pm - 5:30pm

TRANSPORTATION TO BENTONVILLE: RETURN TO MOTTO HOTEL
The final motorcoach will depart by 5:00 pm.

5:30pm - 6:30pm

BENTONVILLE RECEPTION AT THE MOTTO 

Evening

Sponsor Hospitalities & Receptions  
All events hosted and organized by sponsors (approval required by AURP)    

INFORMAL GROUP DINE-AROUNDS 

Wednesday, November 13th

 7:00am - 8:00am

Continental Breakfast 

8:00am - 8:15am

BENTONVILLE: MORNING WELCOME

8:15am - 8:45am

GENERAL SESSION
BUILDING CAPACITY: CREATING GROWTH IN THE HEARTLAND  

Ross DeVol, President and Chief Executive Officer, Heartland Forward 

8:45am - 9:15am

GENERAL SESSION
LIFE WORKS HERE: UNLOCKING THE FUTURE OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS    

Nelson Peacock, President & CEO, Northwest Arkansas Council
Additional Speakers to be announced

9:15am - 9:45am

GENERAL SESSION
ASSESSING AND EVALUATING INNOVATION ECOSYSTEMS BEYOND REAL ESTATE    

Tony Boccanfuso, Chief Executive Officer, UIDP

9:45am - 10:00am

INNOVATIVE PROGRAM
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: HOW TO LEVERAGE PRIVATE CAPITAL TO ACCELERATE INNOVATION  
This real-life case study follows the trail of the “Food as Medicine” expansion at K-State’s Olathe Innovation Campus.  Each stakeholder will share their unique perspective on how the developer-led process is leveraging capital and project delivery expertise to accelerate innovation and workforce development.  Walk (run, hike or bike) away with actionable ideas for your next project    

Ben Wolfe, PhD, Dean and Chief Executive Officer, KState Olathe Innovation Campus  
Lori Top, MBA, LEED AP, Vice President, VanTrust Real Estate  
Daniel Lacy, Vice President, Business Unit Leader, McCown Gordon Construction 

10:00am - 10:30am

NETWORKING BREAK

10:30am - 10:45am

INNOVATIVE PROGRAM
OPTIMIZING PLACEMAKING BY FINDING THE WIN-WIN-WIN  
This session will explore how research parks can meet the needs of medtech and life science sectors, focusing on necessary resources like funding and talent, and the importance of flexible master planning. Thel Consulting and ISG will present case studies on tenant needs and innovative design strategies such as dual-purpose spaces and community integration. The session will also discuss maintaining a long-term vision through strategic partnerships and P3 models, aiming to create win-win-win outcomes. 

Tung Nguyen, Partner, Thel Consulting, South Dakota State University
Steve Watson, Development Strategist, ISG 

10:45am - 11:15am

GENERAL SESSION
FAST.FORWARD:  A NEW MODEL FOR ACADEMIC SCIENCE FACILITIES  
Can science bridge the gap between institutions and communities? Academia hosts the world’s most sustainable science buildings, pioneering carbon neutrality and innovation while solving big questions for humanity.  However, these facilities are expensive to build and often sequestered from the public.  In response, Gensler, Thornton Tomasetti and Van Zelm developed Fast.Forward, a network of rapidly deployable modules that produce net-positive energy and act as decentralized, flexible, accessible field labs for place-based research and STEM education.    

Will Germain, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, MCB Science & Health  
Meghan Webster, Studio Director, Principal, Gensler  
Additional Speakers to be announced

11:15am - 11:30am

INNOVATIVE PROGRAM
TAPPING INTO TECH TRANSFER OFFICES: ATTRACTING VC INVESTMENT

Tracy Poole, Esq, Founder and Managing Partner, FortySix Venture Capital 

11:30am - 12:00pm

GENERAL SESSION
ELECTION NIGHT: WHAT IT MEANS FOR INNOVATION  
The 2024 Elections: It's Impact on Creating Communities of Innovation

To be announced
Moderator: Brian Darmody, CSO, AURP 

12:00pm - 12:30pm

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2025: AURP PROGRAMS & EVENTS 

Vickie Palmer, CEO, AURP

12:30pm - 1:30pm

NETWORKING LUNCHEON

1:30pm - 2:15pm

CONCURRENT BREAKOUT SESSIONS

ACADEMIC-INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS: BEST PRACTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON, DC METRO CAPITAL REGION 

Liesl Riddle, PhD, Dean, George Washington University College of Professional Studies  
Brian Naumick, Managing Director, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate  
Kenneth D. Walsh, PhD, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President, George Mason University
Adam Glaser, Managing Director, KPMG US 
Moderator: Robert McClure, AIA, NCARB, Innovation & Strategy Design Principal, Page Southerland Page 


NEXT-GEN TECH 

Russ Zarras, Lead Business Developer, Fraunhofer USA  
Ngan Le, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas  
Moderator: Dougan Sherwood, Head of Innovation Districts, CIC Captains of Innovation


INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS: DRIVING GROWTH OF INCUBATORS, RESEARCH PARKS AND INNOVATION DISTRICTS AROUND THE WORLD     

Arno Meerman, CEO and Founder, University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN)  
Charles Ross, President, International Business Innovation Association (iNBIA)  
Thomas Schuelke, PhD, President, Fraunhofer USA  
Olivia Womack, Arkansas Economic Development, SelectUSA  
Moderator: Brian Darmody, Chief Strategy Officer, AURP  International Trade Center, Arkansas 

2:15pm - 2:30pm

BREAK

2:30pm - 3:15pm

CONCURRENT BREAKOUT SESSIONS

AUTONOMOUS TECHNOLOGIES FROM LAND, AIR AND SEA: HOW WILL THEY AFFECT MY PARK AND MY COMMUNITY?  
After years of promise, autonomous technologies are arriving, from drone delivery of needed medicines to rural areas, self-driving taxis and truck fleets, to new ways to protect our country. Research parks are home to university research centers and autonomous tech companies that are serving as test beds in demonstrating advances in this tech sector. The AURP Rural Autonomous Innovation Network (RAIN) is supporting the growth of small autonomous tech businesses to take on the challenges and opportunities of advancing technology in rural communities. Learn about these and other initiatives to support research parks, innovation districts and companies using autonomous technology across the country.    

Lane Patterson, Highway Ventures, Bentonville, Arkansas  
Phil Sizer, Associate VP, Office of Research and Innovation, Texas Tech, Lubbock Texas  
Matt Scassero, UMD Matrix Lab, St. Mary's County, Maryland  SBA representative (invited)  
Moderator: Erin Koshut, President, AURP; Executive Director, Cummings Research Park


EVOLVING & REIMAGINING SPACES 

Leslie Ashor, Director of Science + Technology, HOK  
Kristina Covall, Project Manager, SKS Partners  
Mark Schmidt, Associate Vice Chancellor, Partnerships, NC State University  
Moderator: Keisha Demps, Director of Partnerships, Centennial Campus, NC State University


REGIONAL GROWTH CATALYST

Aaron Olver, Managing Director, University Research Park  
David Washburn, Executive Director, Michigan State University Foundation  
Rich Michal, Senior Vice President, Capital Projects and Facilities, Purdue Research Foundation  
Moderator: Stephen Coulston, Principal, Perkins&Will 

3:15pm - 3:45pm

NETWORKING BREAK

3:45pm  - 4:40pm

CONCURRENT BREAKOUT SESSIONS

REDEFINING THE TRADITIONAL  

Scott Levitan, President & CEO, Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina  
Carol Stewart, Vice President, University of Arizona, Tech Parks Arizona; CEO, UA Tech Parks & President, UA Center of Innovation  
Moderator: Allison Madden, Vice President, AURP; Corporate Secretary and Director of Operations, USF Research Park, University of South Florida


CONTINUITY OF COMMUNITY TO ACCELERATE INNOVATION
The Rowen Foundation, Georgia Tech, and Portal Innovations, partners in the metro Atlanta life sciences ecosystem, join for a panel discussion on how their collaboration provides a “continuity of community” that accelerates growth by allowing companies to retain and deepen partnerships from startup through maturity. Topics discussed will include an outlook of life sciences in Georgia and how purpose-driven development offering scalable real estate solutions provides an environment where companies can innovate, grow, and thrive.    

Mason Ailstock, Past President, AURP; President and CEO, Rowen Foundation  
Greg King, Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Georgia Institute of Technology  
Suna Lumeh, MS, MBA, Director of Platform & Ecosystem – Atlanta, Portal Innovations 


INNOVATING WORKFORCE THROUGH DATA AND COLLABORATION

Laura O’Blenis, President and CEO, Stiletto: Make a Point  
Megan Bolinder, Executive Director, Trails and Trade Division, Northwest Arkansas Community College  
Moderator: Jordan Peterson, Collaborative Real Estate 

4:30pm - 4:45pm

BREAK

4:45pm - 5:00pm

INNOVATIVE PROGRAM
LEVERAGING CREATIVE STUDENTS TO GROW CAMPUS ENTREPRENEURSHIP  
Vibrant student entrepreneurship programs are essential to connect research commercialization activities taking place at universities and research parks to students who will comprise the innovation and startup workforce. The University of Texas Permian Basin recently launched a Student-Made Store to provide creative students at the University with an online marketplace to sell their original works, opening doors to entrepreneurship for artists, makers, and creators often overlooked in traditional student entrepreneurship programs.    

Brian Shedd, PhD, Executive Director, Office of Innovation and Commercialization, The University of Texas Permian Basin  
Lindsay Reeth, Co-Founder, Student-Made 

5:00pm - 5:15pm

INNOVATIVE PROGRAM
CREATING AN ECOSYSTEM OF INNOVATION  
The Innovation Foundation at Oklahoma State University integrates its strategic priorities within both the university and the community, fostering a dynamic ecosystem of innovation. By facilitating applied research from concept to commercialization, The Innovation Foundation functions independently of any college or department, intentionally fostering interdisciplinary collaboration – a cornerstone of OSU’s strategic plan. By bridging academia and industry, The Innovation Foundation promotes collaboration, knowledge exchange, and technological advancement for economic growth and societal progress.    

Elizabeth Pollard, Chief Executive Officer, The Innovation Foundation, Oklahoma State University 

5:15pm - 5:30pm

IC2024 CLOSING REMARKS  

Allison Madden, Vice President, AURP; Corporate Secretary and Director of Operations, USF Research Park, University of South Florida

6:00pm - 9:30pm

AURP 28th ANNUAL AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE in INNOVATION    
As we approach the crest of the AURP International Conference 2024, our celebration and recognition of those worthy of our 2024 Awards of Excellence will be foremost in mind.    

Awards of Excellence:  Rising Star • Outstanding Research Park or Innovation District • Emerging Research Park • Innovation • Career Achievement • Leadership 

Thursday, November 14th

 9:00am - 11:00am

 OPTIONAL TOURS (Included in registration fee)

  • The Collaborative 
  • New Walmart Headquarters  
  • Whole Health Institute
  • Crystal Bridges