TEES and Texas A&M host Council on Competitiveness’ dialogue focusing on innovations in autonomous vehicles and healthcare

November 21, 2016
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Creating and maintaining a long-term environment friendly to innovation was the topic of conversation at the Exploring Innovation Frontiers Initiative (EIFI) Southern Regional Dialogue hosted by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, Texas A&M University College of Engineering and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness on Nov. 15 in Houston.

The EIFI Southern Regional Dialogue focused on some of the region’s already strong innovation-intensive industries like energy, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare. 

Dr. Greg Powers, vice president of technology at Halliburton gave the keynote address. He focused on the need for firms and organizations to be open to unexpected, cross-disciplinary innovation opportunities outside of traditional silos. As examples, he pointed to a range of productivity-enhancing innovations underway at Halliburton, inspired by advances from other industries like healthcare and telecommunications.

A welcome address from M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering and director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, focused on the importance of Texas A&M’s continued role in helping create an innovation-friendly environment in the state of Texas.

“To compete in the global ecosystem, the nation relies upon innovation,” Banks said. “This event brings together our peers across higher education, industry and government agencies to explore how we can work together to advance U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and enhance American prosperity.”

Panels featuring experts from academia, industry and government discussed several topics throughout, starting with an exploration of the frontier of energy and manufacturing technologies, critical sectors for the United States’ future in innovation.

A second panel focused on autonomous vehicles and their impact on moving people as well as products. The third centered on the potential for new technology to create unique healthcare solutions such as personalized medicine, and the importance of engineered medicine to the future of the United State’s competitiveness.

“The aim for EIFI – a multi-year, progressive dialogue series taking place in creative hotspots across the nation– is to craft a transformative strategy to spark a larger U.S. innovation movement, and to increase dramatically the number of institutions, businesses and people engaged actively in America’s innovation economy. This dialogue in Houston added a range of best practices, fresh ideas and inspirational technology paths to this conversation – and will help frame a national innovation strategy for the incoming administration and Congress,” said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

The daylong event was the third in a progressive series across the United States. 

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