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University of Missouri

The Office of Economic Development

The MU Office of Economic Development began as a part-time endeavor in 2006. The full-time office was created in January 2010 after it became clear that MU had an added responsibility beyond teaching, research and service to advance the growth of our local, state and regional economies.

In the fall of 2014, the Office of Research expanded to include the Graduate School and the Office of Economic Development.  Several different areas that relate to Economic Development now report to the Associate Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost for Economic Development, Steve Wyatt.  The strategy is focused on building strategic collaborations with business for the purpose of growing research and service contracts; enhancing internships, experiential learning opportunities and job placements; developing long-term philanthropy collaborations; exploring collaborations for new funding opportunities; and accelerating entrepreneurship and commercialization.  This includes not only local and regional partnerships, but also expanding MU’s presence and participation in the urban areas within the state.

Role of MU Economic Development

1. Business Attraction

Collaborate with Economic Development organizations to attract mid-to-large corporations and businesses to the state and support their ongoing needs.

2. Workforce

Ensure that Mizzou can meet the workforce needs of business and industry and provide continuing education opportunities to the private sector.

3. Support for Existing Business

Provide guidance on business opportunities and resources available at the University, and support new or expanding businesses in the state.

4. Research and Policy / Collaboration

Foster original discovery, creativity, innovation and scholarship at Mizzou, and convey the University's strategic contributions to the vitality and growth of the state and regional economies. Build partnership and cooperative agreements.

5. Commercialization and Tech Transfer

Identify, assess, protect and market commercially viable intellectual property developed at MU and then facilitate the commercialization of intellectual property.

6. Communication / Business and Entrepreneurial Success

Promote the business and entrepreneurial success of faculty, staff and students while articulating the benefits of having access to the assets and resources of a premier research university to its stakeholders.

7. Quality of Life

Promote the breadth and depth of medical support and quality of life benefits that are offered to Missouri residents because of MU.

MU's 5-Point Plan for Economic Development

1. Multi-Campus Collaboration

Encourage collaboration within the University of Missouri System to foster the development and sharing of ideas and resources, maximizing institutional return.

2. Fostering Entrepreneurship

Offer grants to assist students in taking an entrepreneurship course of study and fund a new program focused on faculty entrepreneurial education on all four UM system campuses.

3. Revising Intellectual Property Policy

Amend intellectual property policy regarding industry sponsored research to be more flexible and adaptive for mutually beneficial collaborations.

4. Recognition

Develop a reward system for researchers that have market success for their products.

5. Borrowing Good Ideas

Look to other universities for innovative ideas.


Steve Wyatt, J.D., MBA, the Vice Provost for Economic Development, also serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development. In this role, he leads severals other team members in various University initiatives:

Business Engagement Jim Gann, Ed.D., MBA
Sponsored Programs and Administration Craig David
Technology Management & Industry Relations Chris Fender, MS
Broader Impacts Network Susan Renoe, Ph.D.
Conflict of Interest Betty Jo Wilson
STAR Metrics & APLU Data Projects Jim English, Ph.D.
Venture Mentoring Service

Jim Gann, Ed.D., MBA, Interim Director

View the full organization chart of the Office of Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development by clicking here.

Learn more about the University of Missouri.

Contact the Office of Economic Development.