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March 20, 2013

College will host conference

Northern Essex Community College, along with the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and the Haverhill Horizons Hardware Challenge, will host the “Open Innovation Conference 2013” on March 20 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Northern Essex Community College’s Technology Center, 100 Elliott St.

Business, community, and educational leaders are invited to attend the conference, which will initiate the development of an open innovation cluster in the Merrimack Valley, according to a press release on the event.

“We want to enhance our local and regional competitiveness so that we can increase business and economic development in Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley,” Mayor James Fiorentini said.

Sven Amirian, president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, explained the goals of the conference.

“The region needs a critical mass of entrepreneurs and talented workers, a strong education network, collaborative business practices and tools, as well as access to capital resources and local and global markets,” Amirian said, adding that his business group hopes to play a major role in matchmaking for partnerships.

George Moriarty of Haverhill, the community college’s new executive director for workforce development and corporate relations, said “open innovation can be a catalyst for economic growth.”

“The Merrimack Valley has tremendous potential for growth and development,” Moriarty said. “Our core businesses produce the goods and services demanded by today’s global marketplace. Our educational infrastructure endows its graduates with 21st century skills and knowledge. Entrepreneurs across the region are challenging long-held assumptions about product development and intellectual property being produced solely within the organization. Open innovation, or co-creating, is a concept that unifies these exciting elements into a coherent approach to sustainable economic development.”

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