National Innovation Conference Set for Little Rock in 2020


National Innovation Conference Set for Little Rock in 2020
Jerry Adams

The Arkansas Research Alliance announced Thursday that the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) will hold its annual conference in Little Rock from Oct. 13-15. 

This is the first time in its 22-year history that the national conference will be hosted in Arkansas, according to a news release. Also, ARA is a member of SSTI. 

"Research and technology are critical economic catalysts for Arkansas," ARA President and CEO Jerry Adams said in the release. "That SSTI chose Arkansas for such an important conference reflects the progress Arkansas has made to transform into a modern, competitive economy." 

ARA, with support from Startup Junkie and the Walton Family Foundation, led the campaign to bring SSTI to Arkansas. Those two are SSTI members as well.

The conference already has 16 private and public sector sponsors. Even the governor lent a hand, with a letter from him serving as the first page of a sponsorship booklet.

The booklet also calls the conference "the largest gathering of the technology-based economic development community." Sponsorships range from $5,000-$20,000.

"Bringing the conference to Little Rock and sharing the story of what is happening in Arkansas will give people from across the country the opportunity to see the progress that’s being made in the state," said Dan Berglund, SSTI president and CEO, in the release. "We think it's a story that will resonate throughout the country."

The conference is expected to attract about 300 participants from 47 states and several countries. This year's theme is "Creating a Culture of Change." 

Attendees range from policy makers and program managers at all levels of government to higher education professionals and leaders of associations or organizations active in economic development, science, technology and innovation.

Topics it will cover include capital access, regional systems, tech transfer, workforce development and inclusive entrepreneurship.

Registration is available here