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Symposium Spotlights Emerging Technologies

February 19, 2010 2:15 AM
Mark Miester newwave@tulane.edu

Research shows that just a tiny percentage of technological innovations cross over to mainstream success, but that doesn't stop entrepreneurs from pumping millions of dollars into emerging technologies in feverish pursuit of the next big thing. Those risks and rewards are the subject of a business symposium at Tulane on Friday (Feb. 26).

fool's gold"You see these bandwagons where we chase hot, new technologies, but which ones will be viable, how they'll be commercialized and when they'll become mainstream is anyone's guess," says Laura Cardinal, Exxon Professor of Strategy at the A. B. Freeman School of Business and director of the Burkenroad Institute. "There are huge rewards but also significant risks, and lots of money gets spent in pursuit of the quest."

For the 17th Annual Burkenroad Symposium on Business and Society, Cardinal turns the spotlight on three emerging technologies with the potential to transform life in the 21st century.

"The Quest for Fool's Gold: The Risks and Rewards of Emerging Technologies" will feature panelists David L. Carroll, director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University; Stephen R. Connors, director of the Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Thomas B. Clarkson, director of planning and business development at Wake Forest University's Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Cardinal says the panelists, whose backgrounds span science, academia and entrepreneurship, will discuss what it will take to commercialize their respective technologies as well as take them mainstream. She says she hopes the symposium will attract entrepreneurs looking for new ideas as well as researchers from New Orleans-area science, engineering and medical schools.

The event, which is free of charge and open to the public, will take place at 10 a.m. in the Lavin-Bernick Center's Kendall Cram Lecture Hall. For more information, call 504-865-5837 or e-mail Cardinal.

Mark Miester is senior editor in the A. B. Freeman School of Business and editor of Freeman magazine.