A-State Innovation System Dedicated

Jul 17, 2017

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson speaks during the dedication of The Garage in Jonesboro, which is part of the A-State Innovation System.
Credit Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

Arkansas State University has launched the A-State Innovation System.  The system is designed to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to access resources and bring ideas to the marketplace.  Grand opening ceremonies for the Innovation System were held Monday.  Ty Keller is the director of the A-State Innovation System.

"For the entrepreneur who is not afraid to take risks and knows how to raise funds for a project, they might not know about innovation," says Keller. "This collaboration allows A-State to help put you in touch with the right people to make a project happen. This partnership will help a lot of people."

The System is located in three different areas:  The Garage is at 219 South Church Street.  The Garage is a maker space and a collaboration space.  The Shop is at 5501 Krueger Drive at ASU-Newport’s Jonesboro campus.  The Shop is a machine shop and a wood shop.  The Lab is a research facility on the Jonesboro campus of Arkansas State University in the Arkansas Biosciences Institute.  The System will work through the integration of innovation, start-up support, technology transfer and partnerships with businesses and communities.  Keller says the System will work to bring all of these components together

Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse says this will benefit the region for many years to come.

"Tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs are always working together," says Damphousse.  "This is a space where people can come together from the university and the community to come up with the next innovative work that will make our lives easier and better."

The A-State Innovation System is a public-private partnership between Arkansas State University and Ritter Communications, Nucor-Yamato Steel, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Delta Regional Authority.  Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says it is important that the state provides funds to help such efforts…especially with the technology and STEM efforts that state has made recently.

"I am proud that we have over five-thousand students in the state taking computer coding," says Hutchinson. "When those students come out, they will want to go to this innovation system.  They want the capacity and support for their creative ideas and this will give them what they need to the benefit of our state."

Arkansas State University’s Innovation System is designed to coordinate support services and resources for inventors and entrepreneurs, as well as fostering opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in rural east Arkansas communities.