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January / February 2003


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UMaine Today Magazine


First Impression from the President

President Peter S. Hoff
President Peter S. Hoff
 

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This issue of UMaine Today includes several stories that highlight the importance of the economic development connection between business and science. It strikes me that, while business and science may seem to be as different as can be, they really do have some similarities.

Both are risky. Businesses can fail because a market dries up, a patent is not granted or competitors get the upper hand. Scientists can fail to get research funding or find that experiments don't work according to expectations. Scientists can learn as much or more from their failures as from successes. Business and science both depend on educated people who know how to manage information and use it creatively. Universities excel at creating the workforce necessary for successful science and business enterprises.

It takes time to see results in both business and in science. Business incubators, such as UMaine's Target Technology Center, which is profiled in this magazine, guide scientists and engineers through the detail work that is necessary to gain a successful result. Although business and science have different needs, they can in fact work well together and create new foundations for Maine's economy. We can see several examples: the nonprofit Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor, IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, and Applied Thermal Sciences in Sanford all follow this model.

We at UMaine are truly proud of our contributions to Maine's economic development through research in all academic areas. Continuing and growing in our ability to contribute to a knowledge-based economy is one of the imperatives for UMaine's future that I identified in my recent State of the University Address. This capacity is one of the elements that defines UMaine's unique and vital role in shaping the state's future.

It is also important to note that the unique nature of university research is necessarily tied in to the broad range of opportunities and experiences of a comprehensive 21st-century university. All of us who are part of UMaine draw inspiration from the arts, draw enthusiasm from our interaction with students, draw perspective from our diversity, and draw our desire to learn from each other. We keep that in mind as we look forward to the next UMaine advances that will serve to make our lives better.

President Peter S. Hoff's Signature

Peter S. Hoff
President

 

UMaine Today Magazine
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