“The impetus for this event came during our 2019 Inter-Regional Visit to Raleigh, Durham, and the Research Triangle. We witnessed the strong ties the North Carolina Universities have with the business community, and we want to emulate that model,” said Bryan Stephens, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber, during the Chamber Strome Business Series at the Hilton Norfolk, The Main hotel.
On Wednesday, November 20, the Hampton Roads Chamber and Old Dominion University's Strome College of Business hosted a joint business series focused on the importance of unifying the business and academic communities of Hampton Roads. “Old Dominion University President John Broderick has eagerly stepped up to be the catalyst for change,” said Stephens.
“Thank you to the Hampton Roads Chamber. The Chamber is a force, not only regionally but also statewide, as a result of what Bryan Stephens does for the Hampton Roads Chamber.” President Broderick praised the Hampton Roads Chamber during his keynote address and discussed the significance local chambers play in shaping economic conditions for a region.
Broderick provided a brief overview of ODU’s successes and growth throughout his presidency and discussed key university milestones. “ODU is an economic development leader for the Commonwealth as well as for Hampton Roads, spurring entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the region.” He mentioned that ODU contributes $2.6 billion annually to the Virginia economy, and said the graduates who still reside in Virginia and actively contribute to its economy.
Throughout Broderick’s presentation, he focused on the importance of research institutions partnering with local businesses to spur innovation, create jobs, and grow the Virginia economy. “Innovations do come from research institutions, and if that innovation is coming, then we’re going to see the kind of economic growth that I think all of want to see in Hampton Roads,” Broderick said. He continued, “We need to continue to find ways to diversify our economy and try to rely a little less on the overdependence we have for federal funding.”
"Research triggers economic development." Broderick discussed the tremendous opportunity Hampton Roads has to grow its economy through private and public partnerships. “The wonderful thing about institutions is that it attracts great young minds to a region, to a community, and we have an opportunity to experience that first-hand.” He stressed the importance of talent attraction and retention to attendees and encouraged investments and partnerships between universities and businesses to create jobs and funnel economic growth.
“The research institutions from Raleigh, Durham, and the Research Triangle have had a significant impact on their region and economic success,” said Broderick about the 2019 Inter-Regional Visit. Broderick reminded audience members of the value of partnerships between universities. “If we can leverage some of the things we are doing in Hampton Roads and combine those with what’s happening in VCU or at William and Mary, then we add to our strengths,” said Broderick. “As opposed to trying to continue to do so many of these things in an isolated way.”
Broderick went on to say that Hampton Roads is missing the linkage between the business community and research institutions to take advantage of innovation and intellectual property developing in Hampton Roads. He added, “That’s one of the valuable lessons higher education can learn from what you’ve seen at the Research Triangle, the importance of working together and trying to find commonality where we can grow our research enterprise.”
Broderick stressed the need for deeper collaboration between businesses and university research centers. He urged those in attendance to engage university researchers and students for unique perspectives and to consider reviewing intellectual property portfolios to generate innovations. “There is an expectation and a huge opportunity for higher education institutions to not only be a player in partnership ventures but candidly to be a leader.” Broderick alluded once more to the success of the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. He added, “There are many things here in Hampton Roads that do have an upside give us a reason for optimism, and I hope all of you will contribute and help bring us to that next level.”
The Hampton Roads Chamber would like to thank Atlantic Union Bank, Presenting Sponsor of the Chamber Strome Business Series. Paul Buckley, Business Banking Team Leader with Atlantic Union Bank, delivered presenting sponsor remarks to the audience, “We’re proud to be the series presenting sponsor for the Strome Business Series and proud of our affiliation with Old Dominion University.”
Join the Chamber on December 4 for the final event of the 2019 Chamber Strome Series at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. Listen to an engaging presentation from Real Estate Agent, Helen Hanna, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.
The Hampton Roads Chamber is the premier pro-business organization serving as an Impactful Advocate, Powerful Economic Partner, Inspiring Ignitor, and Regional Collaborator, setting the conditions for businesses to succeed.