Symposium on the Public/Private Sector Partnership


Developing a “Weather Cluster”—How Academic Meteorology Can Contribute to Local and Regional Economic Development

John T. Snow, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

When one thinks of university programs being a driver for economic development (taken here to be the commercial exploitation of the results of university research, the establishment or recruiting of business ventures, and the creation of new, well-paying jobs) , usually an image of bio-technology firms clustered around a university medical research center comes to mind. However, this is not the only possibility, and numerous other examples can be found, particularly around those institutions which have strong engineering programs. At the University of Oklahoma we have found that meteorology can also be a major player in economic development. This has come about for several reasons: meteorology is one of the strongest sciences programs on the campus; the program has strengths in research areas of interest to the commercial sector; the evolution of technology has revolutionized the “information business”; and commercial firms, as well as government at all levels, have come to appreciate the importance of weather information in their decision processes. This talk will discuss the evolution of economic development activities by the weather program in central Oklahoma, share some lessons learned, and comment on likely future consequences. Particular emphasis will be placed on how interactions with the commercial sector impact students, help shape the research agenda, and promote the image of the meteorology program and the University in the State.wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 4, Academic Sector
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 1:45 PM-3:00 PM, A404

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