USTAR’s Inaugural Utah Technology Innovation Summit Highlights Utah’s Robust Deep Technology Economy
The inaugural Utah Technology Innovation Summit was hosted by USTAR earlier this month with keynotes from government leaders on technology innovation policy, panels discussing autonomous systems, and funding and partnership options, and the presentation of the 31st Annual Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology by Governor Gary R. Herbert.
With over 350 in attendance, the Utah Technology Innovation Summit provided a platform for the discussion of technology innovation and technology-based economic development. Experts from across the country joined local experts on panels to discuss building effective policies and regulations around autonomous systems, securing funding and strategic partnerships for entrepreneurs, building effective governance for startup companies, and discussing the role of government in facilitating innovation.
In the morning plenary session, Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams participated in a moderated discussion on Utah’s technology economy and innovative technological solutions in government.
“We can talk about the role of government and how government should be playing in this space, but if you look at the new economy…is at the forefront of economic expansion, not just here in Utah but across the globe…If we want to have jobs for our kids and our grandkids and a high standard of living and giving people the opportunity to achieve the American dream, we have to be really good in this space,” said Cox. “If you’re not innovating, if you’re not playing in this space, really difficult to make a living right now.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney provided the afternoon keynote and focused on his experience with technology innovation in the private sector and with initiatives formed while he was governor.
“…[There are] deep technology innovators that also need to be attracted to our state…About 90 percent of venture capital in our state over the last five years has gone to a software and service businesses. Very little actually gets into some of the deep technologies that are so essential to our long-term growth. And these technologies typically take a long time to generate the kinds of returns that venture capitalist often want. And that’s of course, where USTAR fits in,” Romney said.
During a lunchtime ceremony, Gov. Herbert presented the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology to four individuals for their distinguished service and significant contributions to the state in science and technology.
Governor Herbert had a surprise announcement during the lunch session, announcing USTAR executive director Ivy Estabrooke, Ph.D., as Utah’s Science Advisor.
This is the first technology innovation summit in Utah hosted by USTAR to explore economic development and commercial growth in the state through technology innovation. This year’s success paves the way for future summits to bring thought leaders together to facilitate discussions in this important field.< Back to All Articles