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Thursday, January 16 2014

By James R. Kinnett II, CEcD, EDFP, The Kinnett Consulting Group

The Plastics Industry is an ever changing target. While certain segments are thriving other areas are still experiencing the recession of “08”. With statistics from 2012 now being available, the outlook worldwide is less than encouraging. For example, in Europe the recovery has stumbled and has reentered a Recession and in Asia the Chinese market has significantly softened, The Global Economy grew only 2.1% compared to 2.8% in 2011 and 4.1 % in 2010, while world trade grew less, expanding 2.6% versus 5.8% in 2011. And here in the U.S. there was growth but it was weak at best. The impact of the political outfall has adversely affected the potential growth for the Plastics Industry here at home. Combine the current local conditions with what is happening worldwide and the impact to the Industry here in the U.S. is significant. As a result the gains made over the last three years have been slowed to where we are at least stable but not seeing any real growth.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions AT 01:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 16 2014

By Ben Harper and Dr. Bob Lindberg

The FAA’s highly-anticipated and long delayed award of six Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test sites is expected to be made between the time this article was written and when it will be published. The FAA has already narrowed the field of fifty applications received from thirty-seven states to twenty-five proposals in twenty-four states.

The recipients of these awards will be at the forefront of the testing to certify remotely piloted vehicles for approved operation alongside the passenger airplanes and helicopters that fill our national airspace. All the states and regions competing are well aware of the potential for this new market, and hope these test sites will be the gateway to becoming a hub of this burgeoning technology. This article suggests considerations for the thirty-one states left without one such gateway on how to foster the growth of this emerging industry.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions AT 10:11 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 16 2014

By Deane C. Foote, CEcD, President/CEO, Foote Consulting Group, LLC

It was a cold snowy morning in early 2005 in Minot, ND; members of the Minot Chamber of Commerce and the City of Minot had gathered to hear the results of an intermodal development feasibility study that I was a part of while working for Carter-Burgess. Our advice to them had been to proceed with the development of the project, which would initially load and move regional grain products and other products such as oil—as the market would warrant—to the West Coast ports of Seattle and Vancouver. They were nervous, asking, “What else besides grain could be transloaded, and what will come back in?” But they followed our recommendation and proceeded with the development of the new Port of North Dakota near Minot.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions AT 09:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 16 2014

By Eileen Walker, Chief Executive Officer, Association of University Research Parks

Innovation is the single most powerful fuel for economic growth in the world. With innovation, an economy can flourish and diversify—and enrich its members as well.

With that in mind, consider this scenario: A researcher, working in a laboratory at a research university campus, makes a promising discovery—say, a way to craft new, artificial human skin using 3D printing technology. The discovery can change countless lives for the better. How does that promising innovation move quickly from the laboratory into the marketplace, where it can help burn victims to heal more quickly, while also creating new companies, and new ways to fuel economic prosperity?

The answer is this: by leveraging the “triple helix” capabilities of the university’s research park.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions AT 09:16 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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