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October 22, 2010

Busy, successful days: Cotton Mills, SemiSouth, homecoming

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Third District Congressman Gregg Harper (left to right); Gov. Haley Barbour; former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, who is now executive director of Campus Operations at Mississippi State; Power Integrations CEO Balu Balakrishnan (at podium); SemiSouth CEO Kenney Roberts; and MSU President Mark Keenum. Photo: Russ Houston | University Relations

It’s been a busy — and successful — week for Mississippi State on the economic development and research fronts.

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees of the state Institutions of Higher Learning approved the university’s proposal to advance development of the Cotton Mills Marketplace project in Starkville. The Cotton Mills Development Group is working on the final stages of the financing package for the convention center development on a high-profile piece of property across Highway 12 from campus. Plans also include a 150-room hotel, restaurant and office space. You can read more about it from the University Relations news release at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=5047

And today — on a postcard-perfect Friday — a California-based “clean tech” company announced a $30-million investment in SemiSouth Laboratories Inc., a spin-off company built on technology developed by Mississippi State researchers. MSU President Mark Keenum, Gov. Haley Barbour and Congressman Gregg Harper were among the VIPs in attendance for the announcement at SemiSouth’s facility in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park.

From our perspective, that’s a pretty good start to the university’s homecoming celebration. Whether you’re on campus or celebrating being a Bulldog from afar, make sure to wrap the weekend in maroon and white.

November 23, 2010

Busy fall for research, economic development at MSU

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By DAVID SHAW | Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Signs of the season are all over our campus these days. Autumn leaves are falling. The Junction has been decorated for Christmas. And students, faculty and staff are rushing to finish the semester’s business as winter break approaches. But before we get there, we take a couple of days to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, and I want to take this opportunity to share several success stories we’ve seen the past few months.

The Social Science Research Center recently celebrated its 60th anniversary — an incredible milestone. The SSRC is the oldest center at Mississippi State, and one of the largest centers that focuses on social sciences in the nation. I add my congratulations for the tremendous reputation that the faculty and leadership have garnered for the SSRC and the university.

I know that many of you have been anticipating an announcement about the Cotton Mills Marketplace development in Starkville. In late October, the Board of Trustees of Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning gave its approval to an MSU proposal to advance development on the site that sits across Highway 12 from our campus. This project will bring a world-class conference facility to the Golden Triangle, and several of our research centers will lease space when it is complete.

One of our startup company success stories began a new chapter last month. SemiSouth, which was born from research right here at Mississippi State, and Silicon Valley-based Power Integrations have entered a strategic partnership that includes a capital infusion that will bring news jobs to the Thad Cochran, Research, Technology and Economic Development Park and provide tremendous opportunities for both companies.

And while we are in the Research Park, if you haven’t seen Dr. Mark Keenum’s “Presidential Update” from the park, I encourage you to watch it now. In it, Dr. Keenum details its history and provides a vision for the park’s future as it plays a growing role in the economic vitality of the state. There is extra activity in the Research Park this week as we prepare our new building for tenants to move in Dec. 1, and anticipate breaking ground on another building in early 2011.

As you can see, we have many achievements for which to be thankful. Mississippi State is positioning itself to continue to grow our research and economic development efforts and to provide leadership for our state, nation and world.

Happy Thanksgiving — and go Dawgs!

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