KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo is at the forefront of leading a cutting-edge, three-pronged approach to enhancing economic development through entrepreneurship and innovation in north central Indiana. Chancellor Michael Harris was invited to share this ideal with a legislative study committee seeking input on higher education and its role in boosting the economy.
The “Triple Helix” framework requires a paradigm shift – a complete re-envisioning to economic development. Harris explained it is imperative that regional campuses become leaders in initiating and developing the process, as he addressed the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development on Thursday (August 25) at the Statehouse.
“We are witnessing an economy that is being transformed from industrial manufacturing, in which natural resources and labor were the key ingredients – to an economy of knowledge, in which knowledge is the main resource that drives the economy through innovation,” Harris said. “At the same time, we are living in an era of globalization and enhanced world-wide competitiveness.”
Harris emphasized to the committee the importance of entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurship is not necessarily about teaching someone to start a new business, rather, it is a mindset,” Harris said. “It is about learning to think entrepreneurially as a way of life. It is being creative and innovative.”
In addition, Harris explained the Triple Helix approach allows for a free flow of ideas and entrepreneurial behavior among the organizations. For example, many IU Kokomo students work to finance their education rather than working as PART of their education. IU Kokomo is currently offering co-op and internship opportunities so that students can integrate their work into their educational experience and develop skills that are necessary for their career inspirations.
“I call upon you, the committee, as you develop new policies and programs to utilize the Triple Helix Model. By adopting this paradigm shift, I am confident that Indiana will be a leading role model for economic development,” he said.
The committee is chaired by State Rep. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, and State Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.