We’re seeing the beginning of a great change for the state of Missouri and the nation through TECH 44

Lonna SowersNews

Terry addresses

The eFactory with evening lighting

TECH 44 – the Ideas Highway is igniting the interest and partnership of technology companies, advanced manufacturers, educational institutions and vendor businesses along the Interstate 44 in Missouri.

The TECH 44 initiative was introduced to the Southwestern part of Missouri recently at the Second Annual “Connecting the Corridor” event held at The eFactory, part of the Missouri State University – Jordan Valley Innovation Center.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Terry Brewer, Founder, President and CEO of Brewer Science. “We are seeing the beginning of a great change for the state of Missouri and the nation through TECH 44,“ said Brewer in his opening comments. “The key to economic growth will be the connectivity of small businesses and that’s exactly what TECH 44 is doing along the I-44 corridor.”

“The key to economic growth will be the connectivity of small businesses”. ~Terry Brewer

The goals and initiatives of TECH 44, a not-for-profit organization, are designed to promote and grow the existing businesses, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the 290-mile corridor from Joplin to St. Louis. TECH 44 is lead by Executive Director Lonna Sowers and a 12-member board of directors.

TECH 44 seeks to create business opportunities while respecting the unique assets of each individual community. The I-44 corridor presents an opportunity to brand the resources of the businesses, bringing more jobs to the companies and communities along I-44, broadening the level of recognition with those outside Missouri’s borders.

Dr. Brewer keynoteBrewer Science has grown to be a global leader in creating, developing and manufacturing specialty materials, equipment and process solutions for semiconductor, MEMS, sensors, displays, LEDs and printed electronics. The company’s in-depth knowledge and expertise in materials science, chemistry, physics, optics, modeling and process integration distinguish it from all other material supplies worldwide.

“It’s what you give as a company, not what you can take that makes your company great,” said Brewer.

TECH 44 hosted a Premier Launch event at CORTEX, the 200-acre innovation community in St. Louis last Fall.

The organization is also hosting a series of breakfast events “Bring on Breakfast!” in the five regions where the clusters of businesses are located. The regions include Joplin, Springfield, Lebanon, Rolla and St. Louis.

“Our members and guests are extremely busy, but we know if we can provide a venue for them to meet, with substantive topics,” we will all benefit,” said Sowers. “It is almost as important for our members to meet face-to-face as it is to learn about dealing with today’s challenges in this global economy.”

Lonna PresentingTECH 44 , a 501c3 organization, is focused on connecting the technology companies and the advanced manufacturers so that they can begin sharing in the resources and building collaboration.

“With 64% of the technology companies and the advanced manufacturers in the state of Missouri located along the I-44 corridor,” Sowers continued, “we’re encouraging the leveraging of the collective resources to strengthen and grow those 4,000 existing businesses. We want to sustain and add to those 124,000 jobs.”

Presenting sponsors for the event were Rolla Regional Economic Commission and John Degen & Associates, LLC. Event sponsors were BKD, Missouri State University – Jordan Valley Innovation Center and the Missouri University of Science & Technology.

For more information about TECH 44 – The Ideas Highway, contact Sowers at 573-578-4533 or email to director@tech44.org or log on to the website at www.tech44.org.

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