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WPI Links with UK University to Develop Areas of Mutual Interest

From left: Dr. Berkey, James Hehir, of the Ipswich (UK) Borough Council, and Worcester city manager Michael O‘Brien.

In October, President Dennis Berkey participated in a leadership exchange sponsored by the Cambridge-MIT Institute. The exchange, which brought together nearly 30 senior leaders from business, government, and academia, sought to establish ways in which regional civic leaders could help foster corridors of innovation, such as the technology corridors between Boston/Cambridge and Worcester in Massachusetts, and between Cambridge and Ipswich in the East of England. The U.S. delegation included Berkey, Worcester city manager Michael O’Brien, University of Massachusetts president Jack Wilson, entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders.

As part of the exchange, WPI announced an in-principle agreement with the new University Campus Suffolk to develop areas of mutual interest, such as faculty and student exchanges, a project center, distance learning, and research, with a special interest in entrepreneurial programs.

Berkey made a return visit to England on October 25 to speak at the National Competitiveness Summit, in Manchester, on the university’s role in regional economic development. “It is an honor for WPI and for me to be able to participate in these important discussions, which are of great value to WPI and to the Worcester region,” Berkey said. “The UK is recognizing both the importance of developing a better educated labor force and the many reasons to foster the economic development of its smaller cities. We can help in many ways and, in the process, learn how better to promote the development of our own region.”

Integral to the exchange is WPI’s expertise in regional development, entrepreneurship, and innovation, as well as science, technology, and engineering education and research. WPI and Worcester are building strong momentum with new projects such as Gateway Park, for research in life sciences, and WPI’s Bioengineering Institute, which is conducting leading-edge biomedical research and creating innovative technologies for commercialization. Entrepreneurship is another strong emphasis at WPI, as evidenced by the work of the WPI Venture Forum and the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

An initiative of the Cambridge–MIT Institute, the transatlantic leadership exchange first met in April 2005 at WPI.
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Last modified: Dec 20, 2005, 15:48 EST
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