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Press Release: Experts to Assess the Region's Climate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Date: 10/26/2004


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Experts to Assess the Region's Climate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Wed., Oct. 27

"To thrive in today's economy, 'business as usual' is not enough," says Dr. Mark S. Lang, an expert in product innovation and entrepreneurship. "To compete successfully, we must constantly innovate. We need to develop entirely new products, services and processes that our competitors don't have. We must keep doing this as they replicate whatever we do."

Whether or not the Lehigh Valley area can support such an innovative and entrepreneurial environment will be the focus of the program, "Assessing the Region's Climate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship," at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, October 27, at DeSales. Lang, founder of the Ben Franklin Partnership Center based at Lehigh University, will serve as moderator for the session.

Part of the Trexler Symposium Series, the program is the third of four evening sessions held during the fall 2004 semester that address the theme, "How to Create an Economy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Lehigh Valley." Attendees include members of industry, government and higher education. (NOTE: media is welcome.)

The series is funded by a generous grant from the Trexler Trust, in honor of the sesquicentennial of the birth of General Harry C. Trexler, industrialist and philanthropist, whose impact on the region is still felt today.

A panel of entrepreneurial leaders will join Lang to share their experiences and discuss how the region reinforces or hinders success. The guest panelists include: Ren Jenkins, president and CEO of GateChange Technologies, Inc., a semiconductor corporation located in Bethlehem; Matthew Sommerfield, a design engineer with Shea + Latone, Inc., a small design and development firm in East Greenville, and Raymond Suhocki, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Lang predicts that if the region, the state, and the country cannot master innovation, we will find our standard of living drop over time until it equalizes with those overseas competitors. Certainly, not a pleasant prospect, says Lang.

"In today's global economy essentially all companies are finding new competition in low wage countries overseas. These new competitors offer not just low wages, but they purchase the same highly advanced machines and adopt the latest best practices, all things we have traditionally done to compete with their labor rates," said Lang. "Since they have the same or better technology, processes, and people we have, at much lower wages, the only strategy left to compete is for us to constantly innovate."

For more information on the Trexler Symposium Series, please contact Galen Godbey, associate to the president for globalization at DeSales, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1275, or at Galen.Godbey@DeSales.edu.


Press Release: Experts to Assess the Region's Climate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Posted on: 10/26/2004

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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