The Georgia Tech APEX Accelerator, a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, helps Georgia businesses identify, compete for, and win government contracts, at no cost to the companies.
Formally known as the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC), the Georgia Tech APEX Accelerator is one of 95 such centers operating across the country. The visit from the federal delegation followed the rebranding and name change that took place earlier in 2023.
The April 19 Georgia stop was the first of several said Khalil Mack, director of APEX Accelerators program.
“We did the site visit to meet the team and have candid conversations about the program and how their program operates,” Mack said. “This is a very innovative accelerator and where it sits in the Enterprise Innovation Institute, there seems to be a lot of opportunity for cross-pollination across their programs so we were excited to come out here and learn what they are doing and see if we could take some of these best practices and apply them programwide.”
Center Economic Development Research (CEDR) This position will be assisting the research professionals at CEDR with gathering and analyzing data related to various community-level contract research projects. Typical projects include labor force analysis, strategic planning, economic and/or fiscal impact analysis, and community resilience. Examples of tasks may include working with spreadsheet data, GIS analysis, data visualization, demographic analysis, and survey evaluation. Additionally, data visualization is a key component of our deliverables to communities. The CEDR intern will collaborate with staff to develop customizable infographic templates, maps, and an image catalog for use in developing proposals, presentations, and final reports for clients. cedr.gatech.edu
Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) The Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based economic development organization. Our organization is focused on developing a dataset and algorithm to compare economic development organizations among U.S. and international universities. This algorithm will be utilized to create an annual monitor to be published by an impartial university-based economic development organization. innovate.gatech.edu
Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) – Data The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech is looking for a student for the summer of 2023 that is interested in delving into data. We have a robust database, kept in Salesforce, that needs some important clean-up. This includes, but is not limited to:
Researching companies to identify Department of Defense suppliers.
Researching companies to identify minority, women, and veteran-owned companies.
Researching companies to determine industry types.
Researching companies to determine employee size.
Making updates to the database as research is completed.
Additional projects around data may be explored, such as analyzing data, pulling lists for the team’s migration into a marketing automation tool, and setting up reports within Google Analytics.
The ideal student should be detail-oriented and have experience manipulating data in Excel. gamep.org
Innovation Ecosystems The position entails performing various research and analysis tasks as part of the Innovation Ecosystems team. Under the direction of a project manager, the successful candidate will focus primarily in collecting data from internal and external sources, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, and summarizing the findings in draft reports. A candidate with the ability to analyze data and communicate its narrative will excel in this position. This position is open to all majors, but because of the societal impact and global nature of the team’s work, students with an interest in the following fields may benefit the most from the experience: International Affairs, Global Development, Public Policy, City and Regional Planning, Economics, Business, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability. grow.gatech.edu
Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) – Cybersecurity
The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s Technology team seeks a student to support a variety of high-value projects focused on Georgia’s Industry 4.0, Advanced Manufacturing, and Cybersecurity industry base. This intern position will support GaMEP project managers in field research and data analytics for technology transfer and adoption in several areas such as sensors, edge computing, digital factory, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing. This dynamic opportunity to observe and assist project work in real time through a technology ecosystem will culminate in client engagement opportunities. gamep.org
Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute is now accepting applications for its competitive 2023 Enterprise 6 Summer Internship.
The 2023 cohort has 6 available slots and selected interns will engage in active projects that further the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s economic development mission.
The Enterprise 6 program is open to undergraduate and graduate students who were enrolled at Georgia Tech for Spring 2023. Selected students will be mentored by a research faculty member. Enterprise 6 interns will meet remotely on a bi-weekly basis to share observations about their experiences.
The Enterprise Innovation Institute is the longest running, most diverse, university-based economic development organization in the United States. Since the launch of its founding program more than 60 years ago, the Enterprise Innovation Institute has grown to serve innovative enterprises of all sizes — from pre-company teams to startups to ongoing businesses — and energize the ecosystems in which they reside.
While Enterprise 6 positions are not for academic credit, the program does offer real world experience and compensation. The organization is offering $25 per hour for 20 hours per week of effort. The internships — which are sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research — begin May 15 and end August 11. Students will work remotely during the internship period, but they may be asked to work from the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s offices in Tech Square as needed depending upon the project they are working on and supporting.
Juli Golemi recently completed the Leading Women@Tech program
Diversity, equity, and inclusion can sometimes seem like catch phrases that organizations use, but don’t really follow through on. At Georgia Tech, the Leading Women@Tech program, which is housed in Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (IDEI), is proving that the Institute doesn’t just talk the talk, it walks the walk.
Leading Women@Tech provides women with the opportunity and curriculum to strengthen their leadership abilities, enhance personal and professional growth, and support overall career development, while facilitating connections among women across campus.
“A leadership program is important for women because leadership can be lonely and isolating,” said Pearl Alexander, IDEI’s executive director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “And it’s probably one of the most challenging experiences that folks have. This investment helps support women in their career growth and advancement. A lot of programs are designed to grow skills. Ours is different in that we are seeking to help women increase their self-awareness. Any leader, male or female needs that. To be a really good leader, you have to know yourself well, know your strengths, your limitations, and possibilities.”
The development of women leaders has been shown to strengthen organizations and businesses, make them better places to work, and enhance the bottom line.
“I really liked that it was a diverse group of speakers and a diverse group of participants,” Golemi said. “We all came from different backgrounds, representing different units, and we brought our own experiences.”
That diversity is one of the ways a cohort is selected, Alexander said.
“We develop the cohort with a number of variables in mind including diversity in perspective,” she said. “A lot of the value of the cohort is they’re growing together, they’re learning, and everyone contributes from their experience, from their knowledge base. That really shapes the power of the experience. With Juli, she had experience with international studies. She studied at a European university, as well as domestically. She’s part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, which is doing some very innovative things.”
The two-month program, which paused during the pandemic, roared back to life last fall with 26 participants from across the Georgia Tech campus. Leading Women@Tech launched in 2016 as a result of feedback from the 2012 Climate Assessment Survey, which revealed a desire for more mentoring and networking opportunities for women at Georgia Tech. Since its launch, more than 120 women have participated in the program. It is offered to women at the director level and nominations for the next cohort will open in April.
“Our primary target year over year has been women in that director-level role, because they are the ones who have significant influence in the organization,” Alexander said. “They are usually leading very impactful initiatives, and they’re in the middle in terms of their career trajectories. It’s a pivotal time in their careers.”
The fall 2022 program consisted of in-person and online leadership development, hands-on activities to assess the participants personal leadership styles, and stress relievers including meditation practice.
“The hands-on skill-building sessions in the areas of emotional intelligence and storytelling were the highlights of the program for me,” Golemi said. “We also focused on the practice of mindfulness. A spiritual teacher guided the group though a couple of meditation sessions. The practical approach of the sessions, followed by stimulating discussions made it an exceptional learning experience.”
The cohort may have completed the active part of the program, but as participants, they are members for life, and will be invited back to future events and programs.
“The program underscored the importance of being a mindful and an intentional leader,” Golemi said. “I lead a very diverse team, so keeping that cultural aspect in mind is where the intentional leading comes in. This program has provided me with the tools and skills necessary to intentionally lead my very talented team in achieving excellence.”
Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia-AIM) recently held its initial kick-off meeting in October 2022.
Over a two-day period, more than 100 participants from across the state came to Atlanta to brainstorm, collaborate, and share best practices as the group launched its effort in earnest following its winning of a $65 million award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) in September.
Led by the Georgia Institute of Technology and a coalition of private and public partners across the state, Georgia-AIM seeks to reimagine job opportunities and wage growth in economically distressed and underserved rural parts of Georgia by melding artificial intelligence (AI) with manufacturing, an all-too-important segment of the state’s economy. Manufacturing’s economic impact to the state exceeds $60 billion a year and it employs more than 400,000, Georgia Department of Economic Development figures show.
A large part of the the Georgia-AIM effort, which is also focused on serving historically underrepresented and underserved groups, is getting people to understand artificial intelligence goes beyond robots and that it’s not about taking jobs away, but leveraging this ever-evolving technology to create the jobs of the future, Ennis said.
AI is already an integral part of daily life from smart homes and cars to cities and mobile devices, she said.
“We want to demystify what it is,” she said. “We want to be able to show you that there is a place for you in the artificial intelligence world, particularly as it relates to the manufacturing.”
Kick-off event attendees were able to network and get more in-depth presentations regarding the various projects under the Georgia-AIM umbrella. The projects include building automation solutions tailored for rural manufacturers, industry pilot trials, workforce training for AI manufacturing technologies, prototyping labs and studios, curriculum development for K-12 students, and an virtual reality training innovation lab.
In addition to Georgia Tech, the coalition of 12 public-private partners includes:
First-of-its-kind program connects high-growth startups with Fortune 500 companies
Engage, the first-of-its-kind collaborative innovation program and venture fund, celebrates five years of connecting startups with leading corporations. Engage, an affiliate program of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, combines strategic capital, a startup growth accelerator, Georgia Tech faculty and resources, and a collaborative network of leading global corporations to create a corporate innovation and startup go-to-market accelerator program that has rocketed the Southeast’s emergence as a leading tech hub. Marty Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco, G.P. “Bud” Peterson, president emeritus of Georgia Tech, and Blake Patton, managing partner of Tech Square Ventures founded the program in 2017. They were joined by nine other founding corporations, including Delta Air Lines, Chik-fil-A, The Home Depot, and UPS.
“As one of the founding corporate partners of Engage, Invesco recognizes the tremendous impact entrepreneurs have on the U.S. economy, and we’re committed to working with the Engage corporate partners to empower their growth in the Southeast region,” said Flanagan. “Through working together with a diverse group of Engage startup founders, we have all benefited from shared innovation, insights into new technology, and invaluable learning opportunities. We look forward to continuing to shape and nurture the growing community of entrepreneurs in Atlanta.”
Since its founding, Engage has mentored and invested in 10 startup cohorts, a total of 75 companies. Its portfolio companies have inked 116 customer contracts signed with corporate partners. Engage startups have raised more than $2.7 billion in capital after graduating from the program and employ more than 3,000.
“Engage’s aim is to establish Atlanta and the Southeast as the best place in the country for enterprise-focused startups to do business,” said Patton. “Our partners have enabled us to build not only a startup growth accelerator but also an innovation platform that has accelerated corporate innovation and connectivity in the region and helped it to become a premier tech and innovation hub. We are proud that 29 of our startups are headquartered or have team members in Georgia.”
The Engage fund, managed by Tech Square Ventures, invests in companies selected for its Go-To-Market Program. That program, in partnership with Georgia Tech, combines education and one-of-a-kind access to help startups break through the barriers of selling to and partnering with large enterprises.
Engage’s Georgia Tech Faculty Council is comprised of subject matter experts who serve in areas including customer experience, data analytics, supply chain, future of work, and sustainability. They offer advice on which startups should be invited into a cohort and facilitate cross-corporate innovation activities.
“Without a doubt, Engage proves academia can play a significant role in bringing together startups and corporations for innovation,” Raghupathy Sivakumar, the Wayne J. Holman Chair professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the vice president of commercialization and chief commercialization officer for the Institute. “The Engage model of corporate partners, plus startups, plus academia is unparalleled in the country, if not the world. We are actively trying to elevate Engage to even further heights by investing in programs that heavily involve our faculty and students in its activities. We can’t wait to see Engage continue to scale and help propel Georgia Tech as one of the top entrepreneurial universities in the country.”
The support and networking of the Engage program has resulted in tremendous success for Engage companies. Highlights include:
The Mom Project, a marketplace connecting enterprises with working mothers, reached 1 million mothers.
Moth + Flame, a developer of virtual training technology, appeared on the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.
Cloverly, an application programming interface (API) that matches digital transactions to equivalent carbon removal, making transactions carbon neutral in real time.
Verusen, an AI platform to harmonize materials data and predict inventory in manufacturing supply chains.
MetaCX, a network that companies join to manage the expected value from their business, raised a round of $5.1 million, comprised of 14 angel investors, bringing the total capital raised by the company to $33.6 million.
Rachel Carpenter, co-founder and CEO of Intrinio, a financial technology company and member of the second cohort, would encourage startup leaders who get the chance to go through the Engage program.
“You will receive unprecedented access to some of the largest strategic institutions in the world. We were in one of the early cohorts, and we’re still connected with executives at Intercontinental Exchange, and Invesco, and Goldman Sachs,” she said. “There’s this deep spirit of collaboration. They don’t forget about you and your cohort overnight. They still know who you are, what your technology is, and sometimes years later they come back and re-open the door for you. So doing the program is not just a short-term value. It’s long-term relationships that you’re establishing.”
Despite the success of the last five years, Engage isn’t content to rest on its laurels. Engage looks to expand in the next five years – and beyond, Patton said, into new verticals, while continuing to support its growing portfolio of companies.
Engage is a first-of-its-kind innovation platform comprising category-leading corporations in the southeastern United States that have joined forces to support startups and build the future of enterprise. Engage is designed to promote innovation through a network of connections between startups, corporations, university researchers, and the venture community. Engage’s corporate partners include Chick-fil-A, The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Georgia Tech, Goldman Sachs, The Home Depot, Honeywell Connected Enterprise, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Inspire Brands, Invesco, Invest Georgia, UPS, and Wellstar Health System. These corporate partners, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and Tech Square Ventures, provide tools, hands-on support and resources that help startups develop go-to-market strategies, open doors faster and transform strategies into action. For more information, visit engage.vc.
The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest organization for the interests of Latino business owners, awarded Donna M. Ennis, C.P.F., with its President’s Award – Partner in the Promise at its 34th Annual Awards Gala, for her work in helping to expand opportunity for minority businesses and entrepreneurs.
The annual gala highlights those leaders in Georgia who have made significant contributions in promoting and supporting Hispanic businesses. It also recognizes those who help foster stronger ties between non-Hispanic entities and the Hispanic market. Ennis and other awardees were fêted at a dinner banquet August 28 in Downtown Atlanta.
Ennis is director of diversity engagement and program development at the Enterprise Innovation Institute, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s economic development and growth arm. She leads efforts to find funding and program opportunities, particularly those with a focus on underrepresented and underserved communities and organizations. She also is director of the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, one of the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s programs. As director, Ennis has assisted clients secure in excess of $3.5 billion in contracts, financing, and sales, and create or save more than 6,000.
For Ennis, who has been at Georgia Tech since 1992, the award is a reflection of Georgia Tech’s commitment to helping foster positive economic development across all communities in Georgia and the value of collaboration. “The award demonstrates the tenacity that we’ve had at Georgia Tech in terms of developing partnerships in the community,” Ennis said. “It really shows that we have a commitment to the minority business community, the Hispanic business community and all the communities we serve as part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute in fulfillment of our economic development mission for the state of of Georgia.”
The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was a major partner for the coronavirus relief funding award that the Georgia MBDA Business Center received, Ennis said, explaining that support helped her team serve more than 1,500 minority-owned businesses via technical assistance services, resources, access to capital, and leverage its network for strategic growth opportunities.
Such collaborations are important, Ennis said, because while minority businesses have made advances, work still remains toward getting greater access.
“Statistics show we still have not reached parity,” she said. “Minority businesses still struggle for capital and opportunity. We still don’t have equitable access. There is still quite a bit of disparity. So these organizations are very necessary to make sure that we work toward equitable access for our businesses and our communities.”
Center for Economic Development Research (CEDR) This position will be assisting the research professionals at the Center for Economic Development Research (CEDR) with gathering and analyzing data related to various community-level contract research projects. Typical projects include labor force analysis, strategic planning, economic and/or fiscal impact analysis, and community resilience. Examples of tasks may include working with spreadsheet data, GIS analysis, data visualization, demographic analysis, and survey evaluation. cedr.gatech.edu
Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) – Communications/Marketing The Enterprise Innovation Institute is Georgia Tech’s economic development arm and comprised of 14 different programs. The ideal student for this position is someone with a strong creative background — ideally one majoring/minoring in marketing or design. The student will work on creating collateral materials (pull-up banners, one-pagers, posters, etc.), some stories, and helping us build a strategy around growing our social media channels’ audiences. innovate.gatech.edu
Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) – International Strategic Plan In the last 10 years, EI2 has implemented economic capacity development projects in over 20 countries on five continents. These efforts have been both in response to external inquires and to targeted outreach efforts using elements of a draft strategic plan. This Enterprise 6 project will focus on collecting data and structuring a long-term international strategic plan complete with plans for funding and staffing. Skills required would be the ability to collect and analyze data from the multiple different units within EI2 and external public sources. Also the ability to identify and classify the major areas of services provided. innovate.gatech.edu
Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing Assist Senior Project Managers within the GaMEP for Industry 4.0 and Advanced Technology implementation projects. This includes support project scoping, technology scouting and facilitating technology onboarding support for the GaMEP manufacturing clients throughout Georgia. Specific project work includes sensors and data collection for predictive maintenance, IoT, edge computing, AI, digital twinning, robotics, and additive manufacturing. Tasks will include manufacturing site visits and assisting with researching and selection technology solutions to manufacturing needs. gamep.org
Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Marketing to Manufacturers Looking for a student that is interested in getting more experience in marketing. As part of the program, this student will be creating marketing collateral, writing stories, working on social media, making updates to websites, updating content for SEO, pulling metrics, and more. This student will support initiatives under the three Industry Services programs (GaMEP, SHES, and SETAAC) that serve manufacturers. The student will work closely and learn from a robust marketing team and will report to the Group Manager of Marketing. The student should either be seeking a major or minor in marketing and/or have marketing experience for a club, society, or other initiative. gamep.org
Georgia MBDA Business Center – National MBE Manufacturers’ Summit The 6th annual Summit is scheduled for August 21-23, 2022. This project management support role will touch all aspects of the planning of the event, including contacting national level speakers, organizing a tour event, developing content for the website and program booklet, and promoting the event through social media and press releases. mbemanufacturersummit.com/
Innovation Ecosystems – Web Developer The Innovation Ecosystems team is seeking a creative web developer who would help update the unit’s websites. The successful applicant will be responsible for the planning, design, and updates of two websites. The student will also contribute to the development of marketing and promotional materials design and content. The ideal candidate for this position is a student who is seeking a degree in marketing. grow.gatech.edu
Innovation Ecosystems – Researcher The position entails performing various research and analysis tasks as part of the Innovation Ecosystems team. Under the direction of a project manager, the successful candidate will focus primarily in collecting data from internal and external sources, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, and summarizing the findings in a draft report. grow.gatech.edu
Measuring University Performance (MUP) This student position will be requiring data analytic, excellent writing and communication skills to perform an evaluation regarding the measuring of university performance. This project will require a final report that contains information about the potential customer demand as well as competitive landscape for a consolidated performance report on the metrics of the top U.S. research universities. Responsibilities will include interfacing with top level academic leadership in understanding their perceived value of a metric report as suggested. It will also include looking at potential funding sources, and optimum data delivery format if the project is identified as desirable to a specific (to be identified) population. This process will include some internal training on our Customer Discovery process as well as familiarity with several databases to be able to assemble an investigative report.
Partnership for InclusiveInnovation – Marketing and Communications The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation is looking for a Marketing and Communications Intern to provide content creation for our PIN pillars – Community Research, Student Engagement, Economic Opportunity, and Workforce Development. Intern will collaborate with the PIN team to create content for social media, monthly newsletter, and website. Ideal intern candidate will have excellent communication and writing skills, experience developing engaging social media content on platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn, be comfortable conducting external interviews, and work well independently as well as with team members. Daily duties may include:
Planning and developing social media calendar and posts
External interviews with students, partners, and others
Assist PIN team with marketing and media relations initiatives as needed pingeorgia.org
ScaleUp Lab and 404 Deep-Tech Project Operations and design intern will assist with logistics and set-up for showcase and other events by managing attendee lists, participate in planning and execution and serve as a general resource. Excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills, and the ability to write professional communication and produce reports and design content are required.
Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub – Business Support Organizations The Hub is a pilot program, creating a blended network of entrepreneur ecosystems and resources to support minority business enterprises in eight southern states. On this project you will work with business support organizations (BSOs) to spread awareness of the Hub and introduce the benefits to organizations such as MBDA Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, incubators, accelerators, and more. businessgrowthhub.gatech.edu/
Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Lab and Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership programs work
with Colombian officials in design and implementation of productivity and competitiveness initiative.
Customer Profile The project started in January 2017 through a collaboration with the Private Council of Competitiveness (CPC). At the end of the second year, Confecámaras, the national Association of Chambers of Commerce, became the client together with Colombia Productiva, a program of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT) under which Fábricas de Productividad was created. The current client is Confecámaras, a national entity that supports the Colombian Chambers of Commerce to promote competitiveness and regional development.
Colombia’s economy is the fourth largest in Latin America as measured by the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $327 billion (nominal, 2019). The country has experienced consistent economic growth over the last decade and policy makers have prioritized programs and initiatives to improve the quality of life and social well-being of citizens. To continue sustaining economic growth, National Development Plans, federal public policies, and several think-tank studies, have identified the increase of productivity as one the pillars for economic growth. Colombia needs to strengthen its innovation and productivity strategy to create the conditions necessary for companies to adapt technological advances, and for the sophistication and diversification of sectors and products. Technology Extension represents a foundational base in a country’s strategy to build an effective innovation, sophistication, and productivity system. As an instrument that seeks to close the information gap, build internal capacity, and connect to existing knowledge supply, Technology Extension equips companies with productivity tools that are essential for incremental innovation. At the same, the national government should complement existing knowledge supply with instruments, capacity building, infrastructure, and business reforms to promote competitiveness.
Colombia has launched prior Technology Extension pilots and initiatives between 2012 and 2016. The program Fábricas de Productividad was designed in 2018 by the MinCIT, Colombia Productiva, National Planning Department (DNP), Chambers of Commerce, and the CPC as a program that consolidated the different extension initiatives until that date. Fábricas seeks to scale the lessons learned from previous programs and implement a permanent model of extension services that is jointly operated with local Chambers of Commerce. The design followed a rigorous process of reviewing best practices at the national and international level, through close collaboration with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership(GaMEP) and the Economic Development Lab (EDL), two programs of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Created in 1960, the GaMEP is dedicated to delivering comprehensive technical, management and research assistant to fuel growth and advance manufacturing in the state. EDL works with communities, governments, and universities, in Georgia and beyond, to strengthen their innovation economies.
Solution The initial scope of the collaboration with CPC was to conduct an assessment in four Colombian cities of the current programs and services available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The assessment included a Survey of the Manufacturing Services Industry in the four cities, which was modeled on the GaMEP’s bi-annual survey. Following the completion of the initial assessment, the collaboration was expanded to include the following additional elements:
Public Policy and Strategic Advice for the design of the first national program of Technology Extension Services (TES), which was going to be modeled mainly after the GaMEP but also taking into consideration other international programs.
Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer to build a critical mass of Colombian Extensionists to deliver TES to companies, not only in the capital area, but at a regional level.
The expanded collaboration included a TES pilot program in four cities. EDL and GaMEP experts traveled to Colombia for consulting and advisory meetings, and to provide on-the-job mentoring by shadowing the local extensionists in training and providing feedback to improve their skills. Additionally, EDL designed a series of boot camp training programs at Georgia Tech for a group of 45 Colombian delegates, including private and public sector officials and extensionists, with the goal to build capacity and transfer best practices about TES, public policy, and strategic aspects to create a national Technology Extension program.
Results Through this collaboration, the EDL and GaMEP teams contributed to the design and implementation of Fábricas de Productividad, which has become the flagship public-private initiative in Colombia to promote the productivity and competitiveness of SMEs. In total, 110Colombian Extensionists have completed a boot camp program at Georgia Tech and received a certificate from Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE). 40 SME firms in Colombia were assisted by Georgia Tech- trained extension professionals and shadowed by GaMEP staff during the pilot program.
Fábricas de Productividad has had a tremendous impact in Colombia. Between Fall 2018 and Fall 2020 (cycle one), the program’s impact was 10 times the impact of its predecessor programs by serving 1,305 companies, compared to 129 Companies served by the previous program. These companies reported productivity increases of 32.8 percent across various the metrics. The initiative has received $10 million public-private investment; 27 of Colombia’s 31 departments (the equivalent of a state in the U.S. commonwealth or state) participating, and 48 of the 57 Chambers of Commerce are implementing the program. Furthermore, Fábricas has built the first national database of TES professionals with a total of 366 Extensionists registered to date. A recent study conducted by Fedesarrollo (a non-profit center of economic and social research) on the effectiveness of the Fábricas de Productividad extensionists network, demonstrated outstanding results evidenced by a perception of high effectiveness and coherence with public policy. Compared with international references, Fábricas de Productividad has managed to consolidate a solid base in a few years of operation, with a wide network of experts, and a broad capacity to reach companies as in similar cases around the world.
The Georgia Institute of Technology has named Karen Fite interim vice president of its economic development unit, the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2).
Fite, who is EI²’s associate vice president, will lead the 12-program organization while Georgia Tech conducts a national search for a permanent vice president to succeed Chris Downing, who retired in June after 31 years of service.
EI2is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development.
Fite, who also is director of EI2’s Business & Industry Services group of programs, has more than 26 years of economic development experience at Tech.
“As director of business and industry services, Karen has successfully provided leadership in critical areas of economic development. We have full confidence that she will continue EI2’s momentum and reach in Georgia and beyond as we conduct the search for a permanent vice president,” said Chaouki Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for research.
“She brings an enormous wealth of expertise and critical understanding to economic development and how to connect businesses, manufacturers, and communities to Georgia Tech’s vast innovation and technology resources to elevate their competitive position and economic impact.”
With state and federal support, for example, EI2’s 160-member staff operate a statewide network of assistance to Georgia manufacturers through the GaMEP and supports commercialization of Georgia Tech faculty research via its VentureLab offering.
A globally recognized model for university-based economic development, EI2— through its Economic Development Lab program — is tapped across the state, nationally, and internationally to help communities and organization innovate in business incubation and commercialization, strategic planning, and economic sustainability.
Other programs include assisting in the growth and development of technology startups through the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), serving minority-owned businesses, and advising companies across the Southeast that have been affected by foreign trade.
Previously, Fite was GaMEP’s state regional network manager and led a team of 10 regional managers in their outreach efforts.
She was an RAB-certified Quality Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as a member of the Center for International Standards and Quality (CISQ), she provided implementation assistance and training to companies pursuing ISO 9001. She has expertise in assisting companies in the implementation of Lean Principles in manufacturing, government and healthcare entities.
Her earlier experience includes the application of industrial and management engineering, employee involvement, and business principles.
Fite has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s in health systems from Georgia Tech.In 2018, she achieved the faculty rank of principal extension professional, the Georgia Tech’s highest professional extension faculty rank.