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ACCELERATE ARKANSAS

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ACCELERATE ARKANSAS ...

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    April 2005

    Draft 2

    Accelerate Arkansas Executive Summary page 1 4.6.05

I. INTRODUCTION

Accelerate Arkansas is a statewide group of volunteers working under the 501C3 of Capital

    Resource Corporation, a member of the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group. Accelerate

    Arkansas emerged from efforts being made by the Arkansas Department of Economic

    Development’s Task Force for the Creation of Knowledge-Based Jobs and leadership of the

    Arkansas Venture Forum. Its membership has been expanded to include individuals from across

    Arkansas.

Accelerate Arkansas’ next initiative is to provide the leadership and the tool for Arkansas’ key

    stakeholders to build a statewide strategic economic development plan for how Arkansas can

    accelerate it’s competitiveness and preparedness to compete in today’s rapidly changing and highly competitive global economy. The cornerstones of the plan emphasize technology,

    knowledge and entrepreneurship.

Increasingly, technology and knowledge will drive the success of Arkansas’ industries. Technology

    and knowledge offer Arkansas’ industries and employers an opportunity to create sustainable

    competitive advantages.

High-tech and knowledge-based industries grow faster than most industries in the U.S. These

    industries are known for creating new and better jobs higher wage jobs. The greatest

    opportunity for Arkansas to move forward economically lies in our ability to accelerate the

    knowledge of our children, the performance / contribution of our knowledge-based institutions and

    the creation / growth of knowledge-based jobs. Over 75% of the changes in a state’s per capita income can be tied to this kind of strategic economic development.

It is true that Arkansas’ industries of the future will demand many more scientists and engineers as

    we better position ourselves to compete in the new economy. It is also important for our parents

    and children to recognize that even for those who do not become scientists and engineers,

    tomorrow’s best careers will require much greater understanding and comfort level with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

II. OUR VISION

To enjoy an economy accelerated by knowledge-based institutions, partnerships, industries and

    knowledge-workers.

III. OUR MISSION

To foster economic growth in Arkansas by using the essential building blocks of the knowledge-

    based economy knowledge creation through research and development, intellectual property

    development, commercialization of new technologies, growth of entrepreneurial knowledge-based

    firms, knowledge workforce and evolution of clusters of such firms (i.e., critical mass); to create an

    environment supporting entrepreneurship and continuous innovation.

    Accelerate Arkansas Executive Summary page 2 4.6.05

IV. OUR GOAL

To increase Arkansas’ per capita income to the U.S. average by 2020. If this were achieved today,

    the state of Arkansas would increase its state tax revenues by over $2 billion.

V. OUR VALUES

In everything we do, we will place the state of Arkansas first.

    While we must make decisions and recommend strategies that we feel are in the best interest of Arkansas, we will conduct ourselves in a highly collaborate manner and expect this collaboration of others.

We are a non-political organization and will conduct ourselves accordingly.

VI. RESEARCH

In September 2004, Accelerate Arkansas released its major study on

    Arkansas’ Position in the Knowledge-based Economy. The report, written

    in part by the well-known Milken Institute, clearly defines the choices

    Arkansas faces in the new economy.

The research report was made possibly from a $205K grant provided by

    the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. The Milken Institute and Arkansas’

    Center for Business and Economic Research examined the state’s current

    economic conditions, assessed the comparative positions of its industry

    structure and benchmarked Arkansas’ position in technology and science.

    The research report can be accessed at

    http://crc.arcapital.com/accelerate_arkansas.html.