Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rogers State University's Innovation Center Aims to Help Create Jobs

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rogers State University's Innovation Center Aims to Help Create Jobs

Article excerpt

Rogers State University's Innovation Center has created a regional business intelligence center to assist existing small businesses and manufacturers in Northeastern Oklahoma expand and create jobs.

RCB Bank received an $18,000 grant from FHL Bank of Topeka, Kan., to establish the business intelligence center. The grant, although issued to the Claremore-based bank, requires a partnership with the Rogers State University Innovation Center.

The RSU business intelligence center's mission is to provide market research and analyses to help businesses expand sales of existing products and services into new markets, said Ray Brown, vice president for economic and community development at RSU. The center is already working with four clients.

"The initial clients were companies we targeted in enterprise zones in northeastern Oklahoma," he said.

FHL Bank's grant was awarded through the Joint Opportunities for Building Success Program, know as JOBS. The program provides grants to FHL members to promote employment growth.

In addition to the FHL Bank $18,000 grant, the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority provided $10,000 in matching funds. RCB Bank, RSU and the Oklahoma Alliance for Manufacturing Excellence will provide $64,930 in matching funds and in-kind contributions for the project.

"The Oklahoma Alliance for Manufacturing Excellence is an important partner for us," Brown said. "They are helping us identify additional clients."

RCB Bank will provide brochures and posters to promote services provided by the new center, said Tom Bayless, chief operating office of the Claremore-bank based with branches in Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Collinsville, Edmond, Iola, Nichols Hills, Oklahoma City, Owasso, Ponca City, Pryor and Skiatook.

"RCB Bank is very pleased to participate in the FHL Bank JOBS Grant, which will allow the Rogers State University Innovation Center to provide additional competitive business intelligence to small businesses in Rogers County," Bayless said. …

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