Albuquerque, NM – September 12, 2014 Attendees at a Sept. 3rd breakfast hosted by NAIOP, the local membership organization for real estate professionals, heard about the latest developments of Innovate ABQ, UNM’s initiative to create a research district in downtown Albuquerque, and the related entrepreneurial activity that is starting to build an innovation economy. Speakers included UNM President Frank, local entrepreneur and investor Stuart Rose, and Bill Bice from local investment firm, Verge Fund. To read more, see Kevin Robinson-Avila’s Sept. 3rd article, “Touting the Innovate ABQ Strategy,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below, an excerpt from President Frank’s Sept. 8 Weekly Perspective, “Statewide Support and Partnerships,” and Rachel Sams’ Sept. 3rd article, “Innovate ABQ Supporters Issue Challenge to Private Sector,” from Albuquerque Business First, at http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2014/09/03/innovate-abq-supporters-issue-challenge-to-private.html?page=all
Touting the Innovate ABQ strategy
By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer
Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – University of New Mexico President Bob Frank told local businesspeople on Wednesday that creation of a research district in Downtown Albuquerque will help galvanize people around a new economic development strategy based on entrepreneurial innovation and community collaboration.
Frank and two other panelists spoke at a breakfast forum in Uptown organized by the commercial real estate association NAIOP to discuss UNM’s “Innovate ABQ” initiative and other efforts to build a fertile environment for innovators and entrepreneurs to launch and grow new businesses.
UNM envisions Innovate ABQ, to be located at Broadway and Central Downtown, as a high-tech research and development zone that can inspire technology-based economic growth in the city’s core. But more than buildings, Frank said the project aims to bring people from diverse backgrounds together as a community.
“It’s been falsely labeled as a ‘build it and they will come’ model for development, but it’s far from that,” Frank said. “We’re creating a critical, nurturing environment to generate opportunities.”
Frank said Innovate ABQ is based on a “rainforest” model of development, whereby research districts are used to provide a creative environment for interaction among scientists, innovators, businesspeople and professionals who might not otherwise meet. It allows them to come together to share ideas and jointly pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.
“People need to see each other and work together as part of a dense ecosystem for opportunity and growth,” Frank said.
Such innovation districts are emerging nationwide, said Stuart Rose, another panelist. Rose, who founded the BioScience Center in Uptown and the Fat Pipe ABQ incubator for information technology businesses Downtown, said both of those centers are successful because they’re based on the rainforest model.
“It’s happening all over the country,” Rose said. “The key is to create a collaborative environment that allows people to mix and bump into each other and come up with new ideas.”
Statewide Support and Partnerships
President Frank’s Weekly Perspective – 9.8.2014
I took part in a very productive trip to Hobbs last week with leaders from our UNM’s Health Sciences Center, UNM’s baseball Coach Ray Birmingham and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Terry Babbitt to meet with city and higher education officials to discuss our current relationship with New Mexico Junior College (NMJC) and local organizations. UNM and NMJC benefit from an ongoing partnership, especially in the medical profession, and we would like to evaluate, strengthen and expand that relationship to increase our statewide success. Thanks to our partners in Hobbs, many of our BA/MD students have had residential support while serving in southeastern New Mexico.
Partnerships have greatly increased the success of our students and our research. Collaborations with other state universities and colleges have given our students advantages they wouldn’t have otherwise. Last week I was a panelist at a NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) forum along with Stuart Rose and Bill Bice, two business leaders with the Albuquerque innovation district. It was great see that the funding request for the business accelerator ABQid was unanimously approved by our city council. Innovate ABQ will work with ABQid to create opportunities for students in our forthcoming Innovation Academy, which has already begun developing and piloting courses. This funding approval is one more important step toward Albuquerque’s innovation district.