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Ole Miss to host third Tech Summit

The University of Mississippi will host business and industry leaders next week as part of its third annual Technology Summit.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. on Aug. 29 and will bring together leaders from government business and higher education to explore trends in technology and stimulate discussions about technology-related needs in industry and education, a statement from the University said.

Rob Carter, FedEx chief information officer, will deliver the keynote address, titled “Seeking the Edge – How to Sustain a Culture of Innovation.” Guest speaker Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will also speak during a luncheon.

“The University of Mississippi’s Tech Summit is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to welcome national leaders in industry, education and government to our campus for stimulating conversations about the future of tech,” Jeffrey Vitter, chancellor and distinguished professor of computer and information science, said in a recent news release. “Now in its third year, the Tech Summit is a reflection of our commitment to giving our students top-notch preparation to thrive in a tech-driven world. It’s also a reminder that Ole Miss is a place where great minds gather.”

Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape Communications Corp. and former COO of FedEx Corp., will moderate a morning roundtable discussion on opportunities and challenges in technology. Barksdale is an Ole Miss alumnus and a renowned philanthropist for education in Mississippi, the University said. Participants include representatives from FedEx, Samsung, the University and the Department of Homeland Security.

Former Gov. Haley Barbour will moderate a second roundtable discussion on the role of education in preparing the tech workforce. Participants include representatives from LinkedIn, the Mississippi Community College Board, C Spire, Huntington Ingalls Industries and the University.

Allyson Best, director of technology commercialization for the University’s Office for Technology Management, will moderate a final roundtable discussion on technology applications in government and industry. Panelists will represent the UM Medical Center, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Space and Missile Defense Command, Sen. Wicker’s office and Comcast.
The event reinforces Vitter’s commitment to strengthening STEM education, growing the university’s capacity to address future workforce needs and enhancing the university’s status as a Carnegie R1 Highest Research Activity institution.

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker said he anticipates great outcomes based on two previous summits. Wicker is a member of the Senate Republican Leadership Team, senior member of the Armed Services Committee, chair of the Subcommittee on Seapower and co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.
“I commend the University of Mississippi for bringing together leaders from government, business and higher education who will shape the future of innovation in our state and nation,” Wicker said in a recent news release. “As the chairman of the Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet Subcommittee, I look forward to learning more about the issues discussed at this year’s tech summit, and how public policy can support the innovators establishing Mississippi as a tech hub.”