Webinar: State Economic Development Agencies and Universities Work Together to Promote In-State Research Expertise
States often compete intensively to attract firms in emerging high-tech or science-focused industries. If leaders can successfully craft policies that entice those industries to relocate or expand in their state, it can mean better jobs and greater prosperity for residents. One obstacle for policymakers, though, is finding a way to link the significant human capital and expertise in state universities and research institutions with private sector companies looking for those same resources. A recent CSG webinar discussed ways to overcome those obstacles through research networking systems and how state economic development agencies can collaborate with the academic community to highlight in-state research expertise to the private sector.
Sharlini Sankaran, Ph.D. - Executive Director, REACH NC
Sharlini Sankaran is the first executive director of the Research, Engagement, and Capabilities Hub of North Carolina, or REACH NC. REACH NC is a new statewide, comprehensive web portal to information on research expertise and capabilities at North Carolina’s universities and research institutions. The development of REACH NC began in late 2009 as a collaborative effort of the University of North Carolina General Administration, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Renaissance Computing Institute, a multi-campus organization that develops and deploys advanced technologies to enable research discoveries and practical innovations. In 2010, Duke University joined the REACH NC effort as a partner, and in 2012, RTI International joined REACH NC on a pilot basis.
Sankaran holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Ohio University and a Doctorate in biomedical engineering from UNC-Chapel Hill. She previously served as Assistant Director of the NC Department of Commerce’s Office of Science and Technology. At the Office of Science and Technology, Dr. Sankaran managed the Green Business Fund, a competitive program that awards grants to small businesses to encourage them to commercialize innovative green technologies. She oversaw the disbursement of $10M in federal Recovery Act funding to North Carolina small businesses. For three years, she was also lead organizer of the annual NC Nanotechnology Commercialization Conference, an event that features national-caliber speakers and attracts hundreds of attendees. Dr. Sankaran also served as research manager for the Office. Earlier in her career, Dr. Sankaran held positions with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.
Dr. Sankaran is an active and dedicated volunteer in K-12 and higher Science and Math education. She has been involved in the Durham Women and Math mentoring program, serves as a judge in the annual North Carolina FIRST Robotics tournament, and speaks on career development to graduate students and postdocs in the sciences and engineering. She serves on the Standing Committee for Ag Biotech in North Carolina,is a member of the Women in Bio RTP Chapter, and is President of the PTA at Creekside Elementary School in Durham, NC.
Daniel Calto - Director of Solution Services, Academic and Government Institutional Markets, Elsevier, Inc.
Daniel Calto is Director of Solution Services for Academic and Government Institutional Markets at Elsevier Inc. He currently works with the North American SciVal consulting team and on special projects globally. He joined Elsevier in 2008 as the Director of Product Management for the SciVal product team.
He has a strong professional interest in R&D policies and their relation to economic growth, statewide economic development issues, R&D trends in East Asia, and how the changing global research landscape is reshaping the scientific enterprise. He has spoken on these and other topics at a variety of national and international conferences.
Prior to joining Elsevier, he was the Director of Research Strategy and Director of Research Administration at Columbia University. He also worked as Director of Sponsored Programs Administration at New York University School of Medicine, and in a variety of administrative and clinical positions at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
He has an MBA in Finance and International Business from Stern School of Business at New York University, and lives in New York with his wife and two boys aged 14 and 11.
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