Ada, Okla., Water Committee Talks Models to Spur Research, Tech

The committee — which includes members from the city, academia and industry — is looking for innovative ways to share technology and research while bolstering business opportunities.

by Eric Swanson, The Ada News / April 8, 2019
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(TNS) — Ada, Okla.’s water cluster committee considered a framework for collaborating with local partners Thursday but did not take formal action.

The committee discussed the triple helix model of innovation, which tracks interactions among academia, industry and government to promote economic and social development. In this case, the goal is to map the relationships between those partners as they collaborate on turning Ada into a center for water-related research.

The three major partners in the committee’s model were regulatory groups and government organizations, including the city of Ada and East Central University; business and industry; and research and development.

“All of these either send or get information from the other,” said City Manager Cody Holcomb. “And all of this activity, again, really we’re looking down on these relationships and how they’re communicating with each other. And then if you were to wrap your arms around all of that, that is what this cluster is going to be about.”

He said every step toward making Ada into a hub for water-related research will happen inside the model.

Ada Jobs Foundation President and CEO James Eldridge said the three partners are intertwined, and the triple helix model offers a good way to see how they can work together.

“Our idea is that on one hand, you’ve got a business and industry side that’s responsible for communicating with the private sector,” he said. “This could be commercializing a technology, supporting new start-ups, working with existing industries, determining market need and market fit. And we think that this can relate to the scientific community — research and development and university-type environments.”

Eldridge said local businesses could share their expertise and skills with the research and development side. In return, researchers could help businesses market their products, develop new technology and consult local scientists.

Businesses generate sales tax revenue and contribute to the community’s tax base, Eldridge said. And in return, he said, businesses benefit from a more favorable economic climate.

“Sometimes they’re receiving incentives; sometimes they’re receiving support,” he said. “So that’s the way that relationship looks there.”

Eldridge said regulatory groups and government agencies would offer support, an improved regulatory environment and room for businesses to operate. In exchange, those organizations would get research-based information, better data and better information for making policy decisions.

©2019 The Ada News (Ada, Okla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.