Southeast Missouri State University
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Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 5, 2003 - Dennis Roedemeier, director of business development for the State of Missouri, has been named chief executive officer of a new Southeast Missouri University Research Foundation and executive director of the new Southeast Missouri State University Innovation Center.

The announcement was made after a closed meeting last week of the University's Board of Regents. Roedemeier began his new duties this week.

Roedemeier's hiring comes as the University, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Technology Corporation, is establishing a Technology initiative with a focus on research designed to develop, attract and retain quality companies that will increase the number and quality of jobs in the southern region.

Dobbins said the three major statewide technology-based economic development initiatives being advanced by Missouri Gov. Bob Holden are life sciences, advanced manufacturing and information technology.

"Within that framework, Southeast's efforts will focus on applied plant life science, value-added agriculture and advanced manufacturing," Dobbins said. "This is a natural fit for Southeast's Innovation Center because of the service region's economic reliance on agriculture and manufacturing."

The center will include incubator space and services for start-up companies. It will provide supporting infrastructure and a nurturing environment to encourage technology companies at early stages of their development, as well as established ones, to improve profitability.

Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins said that as the leader of Southeast's initiative, Roedemeier will strive to create a strong and continuing partnership between the Missouri Technology Corporation, the Governor's Research Alliance of Missouri and the University, area communities, and businesses and industries to achieve their individual and joint objectives by working together.

"We are very pleased that an individual with Dennis Roedemeier's expertise and accomplishments in the field of economic development and innovation has agreed to lead this important effort for the University and the Southeast Missouri region," Dobbins said.

"The Interstate-55 corridor from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau to the Missouri University Delta Center at Portageville to the Arkansas line has great potential for developing businesses related to the life sciences," Dobbins said, "and we look forward to working with the Delta Center, the citizens of our area, and our state's major research institutions, under the leadership of Mr. Roedemeier, to make a positive impact on the quality of life for our people."

In the next month, Southeast plans to submit a proposal to the Missouri Technology Corporation to receive an official designation as the site of the state's fifth innovation center. There currently are four established innovation centers in Missouri - in St. Louis, Kansas City, Rolla and Columbia.

The Department of Economic Development Director, Joseph Driskill, said, "I applaud the leadership Southeast Missouri State University is providing to technology development in their service region by working to establish a fifth state innovation center. Their exciting ideas for an I-55 research corridor; a stronger relationship between Southeast, the Delta Center and other research facilities; a technology park; and business incubator are all elements that could stimulate the creation of good paying jobs and sustained economic growth. We look forward to working with President Dobbins, Dennis Roedemeier and others to help these ideas reach fruition."

As the chief executive officer of the Southeast Missouri University Research Foundation and executive director of the Innovation Center, Roedemeier will be responsible for developing initiatives to assist faculty and businesses in applied research projects in plant and life sciences, value-added agriculture and manufacturing technology. He also will oversee the design and construction of a new incubator facility, and develop policies for and manage the facility. Rodemeier also will develop a cost-effective service network to support client companies, recruit and assist client companies to support their success and network with life science, value-added agriculture, and manufacturing technology organizations.

According to Frank Stokes, chair of the Missouri Technology Corporation, "Dennis Roedemeier's creativity and support were important contributors to our accomplishments in recent years, and we look forward to drawing on his knowledge and expertise in the future."

Roedemeier has served as director of business development for the state for the past six years. In that capacity, he has participated in efforts to develop Missouri's life sciences such as the creation of the Donald Danforth Life Science Center in St. Louis.

He also has managed Missouri's foreign offices in Japan, Korea, Mexico, London, Germany and Ghana, West Africa. His division was instrumental in the creation of the first Technology Business Plan for the State of Missouri in 1999, which led to the governor's development of the Missouri Technology Corporation and the Research Alliance of Missouri.

Over the years, he has operated incubators, an innovation center, a center for advanced technology and research parks. Roedemeier has extensive experience in life sciences and advanced manufacturing, new venture development, business attraction and expansion, new product and technology development, international project development, financial management, organizational development and corporate strategic planning.

He previously has served as executive director of the Missouri Enterprise Business Assistance Center. In this position, he was responsible for directing the Missouri Innovation Center at the University of Missouri-Rolla. During this time, the center developed several applied research initiatives in the areas of flexible manufacturing, waterjet technology, commercialization of electrical engineering projects, ceramics and polymers.

Roedemeier also has served as president of the Cuba (Mo.) Industrial Authority and has helped develop four business parks in Cuba, Ft. Leonard Wood, Marshfield and St. Charles, Mo.

He holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dobbins said Southeast is well positioned to meet the expectations of the Innovation Center because its departments of biology and agriculture have significant faculty expertise in the applied plant sciences and connections with basic research institutions in the state. In addition, the University's Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology has a state designation as a Center of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology and the Harrison College of Business' Small Business Development Center, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Vista/Americorp Program will serve as integral resources in the Center's efforts to transfer technology into successful business applications.

Southeast's Innovation Center will be housed temporarily in Robert A. Dempster Hall until its new offices are ready to be occupied on the former First Baptist Church property.

Dennis Roedemeier's wife is Kim, and together they have six children and have lived in Cuba, Missouri, for the previous 23 years.


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