Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Norman Starts Tech Development Coalition

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Norman Starts Tech Development Coalition

Article excerpt

To support the town's growing technology industry, the Norman Economic Development Coalition has organized a monthly forum for technology company officials to meet, mingle and discuss the business problems they all face.

The Norman Technology Council, which held its first meeting in August, will convene monthly, providing high-tech officials with a venue to learn about and access the resources offered by the Norman Economic Development Coalition, as well as meet other officials in the same general business field.

The Norman Economic Development Coalition was formed four years ago as a partnership between the University of Oklahoma, The City of Norman and the Norman Chamber of Commerce. Since its founding, the coalition has implemented the State Highway 9 "smart park," which will be the location of several new companies, and attracted Boise Cascade and Service Zone to Norman. Despite those successes, however, officials with the Norman Economic Development Coalition felt there was more that could be done.

"We've identified about 60 companies in Norman that are technology-based," said Don Wood, executive director of the coalition. "Our new Norman Business Park will attract even more, because it provides the high-speed telecommunications infrastructures that these companies require. The Norman Technology Council is a way to support companies by addressing the many similar needs of technology firms."

Wood said the Norman Technology Council would provide a "synergy" and a "cross pollination" of ideas and resources for member companies.

"I've worked in the past to bring new companies to town," he said. "But equally as important, especially in today's economy, is to support existing businesses. The council is a way to find their needs and help to fill them."

The companies participating in the Technology Council range from those who have been in business for decades to recent start-ups. …

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