Looking Back on 2011

A new year is a good time to look back at the old year and see how far we’ve come. It’s a classic “can’t see the forest for the trees” problem… we’re all so busy working on our own individual projects, it’s hard sometimes to see the overall growth and vitality of EI2 as a whole.

Below is a necessarily-incomplete list of EI2 accomplishments from 2011:

  • The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) staff received two national MEP awards: one for innovation and one for service. We also hosted the first national Advanced Manufacturing Partnership event (at the request of the White House) and our first Next Generation Manufacturing conference. We piloted the Department of Energy’s Superior Energy Performance program and helped lead the adoption of ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management.
  • Our MBDA Business Center (MBC) won a five-year cooperative agreement totaling more than $2.4 million and was recognized as one of the region’s outstanding performing centers for 2011. The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) helped 4,116 Georgia businesses win $639 million in government contracts. As one of our revenue diversification programs, we also launched the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech, with seven courses approved by the Defense Acquisition University.
  • The Alternative Media Access Center (AMAC) helped Board of Regents institutions save more than $4.4 million in learning materials for 9000 visually-impaired students in Georgia. Late in the year, Governor Nathan Deal transferred Tools for Life, Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Federal Program, from the Georgia Department of Labor to AMAC. Tools for Life offers options for greater freedom by increasing access to and acquisition of assistive technology devices and services for Georgians of all ages and disabilities so they can live, learn, work, and play independently in communities of their choice. We expect this new program to bring more than $1.2 million in annual funding to EI2.
  • Through our Strategic Partners Office, we managed Georgia Tech relationships with 243 companies and interacted with 202 faculty members, resulting in $4.1 million of sponsored research to Georgia Tech. At the same time, we participated in 18 economic development projects resulting in 1,594 new jobs in Georgia from company relocation and $63 million in new capital investment.
  • Our Innovation Partners group won new business in tourism (TRAC), and in foreign direct investment and exporting. We also played a key part in steering the new Huron Consulting study of the economic impact of Georgia Tech, which will be shared with key decision makers in the government and business communities in early 2012.
  • ATDC grew to more than 500 member companies, making it arguably the largest business incubator in the world. In 2011, we announced a new tier of “ATDC Select” for more personalized coaching and connection building. VentureLab launched 16 spinout companies based on Georgia Tech intellectual property. VentureLab graduates raised more than $100 million in venture capital last year. At the same time, we helped launch Flashpoint, a new business accelerator that’s getting great reviews and helping small teams evaluate and build scalable business models for their startups.
  • As anticipated, much of our growth was in the area of health information technology (IT). Health@EI2 enrolled 889 eligible Georgia healthcare providers, for a contract value of more than $2 million. And we won a Georgia Department of Community Health award for more than $1.7 million for our work in health IT.
  • Perhaps most satisfyingly, we won an intense national competition for one of 20 U.S. Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge awards from the Small Business Administration, Economic Development Administration, and the Department of Labor, with a value of more than $1.6 million. Within EI2, the winning proposal was an internal collaboration between Health@EI2, Innovation Partners, Strategic Partners, and Industry Services. We also drew in other Georgia Tech units (Institute for People and Technology and the Georgia Tech Research Institute), and even Gwinnett Technical College.
  • The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) won a pair of Economic Development Administration grants plus matching money from the Georgia Research Alliance to initiate construction of its medical device prototype development center, which will be completed in April of this year. The center also added its first permanent professional staffers, and Emory agreed to join as a full member in the consortium (along with Piedmont Hospital and the Georgia Research Alliance).
  • Our commercial real estate remains 100 percent occupied; in fact, our space in Centergy is probably the only commercial real estate in Atlanta with a waiting list! John Toon won Georgia Tech’s staff communicator of the year award; personally, I think he and his team earn that every year. And our support staff have been fully occupied bringing on board dozens of new full-time and part-time employees across the state, even through the budget downturn. (They’re funded by non-state dollars.)

There’s a lot going on! I appreciate your hard work and the great results you achieved in 2011. I hope everyone had a restful holiday, because we’re going to need it. 2012 is going to be a great year!