From the President

Economic Development

Georgia State is educating industry’s future leaders and transitioning its research into the marketplace

President Becker in front of AYSPS

As a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Business Higher Education Council, I’m often asked about what universities are doing to help Atlanta grow. What are we doing to jump-start our region’s economy, build collaborative relationships with the business community and go beyond classroom learning to make the city and region a more vibrant hub for innovation?

Here at Georgia State, we’re sending more of our bright students out into the job market than ever before, awarding 7,500 degrees annually, a 30 percent increase over numbers just five years ago. We’ve set records for sponsored research funding, surpassing $71 million in 2013. We are helping to transform downtown Atlanta by expanding our real estate footprint. And our economic impact? More than $1.6 billion annually, with more than 13,000 jobs.

But we can and will do more. We’re focused on working with our university partners such as Georgia Tech and Emory to build the talent pipeline for growing industries. We’re expanding our internship and entrepreneurship opportunities for undergrads, paving the way for signature experiences that will make them even more marketable upon graduation.

And we’re committed to fostering an environment where taking risks and pushing boundaries — something you, our alumni, know is written into our DNA — are rewarded.

We recently appointed our first chief innovation officer, Phil Ventimiglia, to help us define new strategies using technology to advance the university. Ventimiglia, formerly vice president for innovation and new product development at NCR Corporation, will look for creative new ways to help us grow.

We’re expanding our relationships with business and industry and continuing to look for ways to take our research out of the lab and into market. In this magazine, you’ll read about the incredible discovery made by biology professors George Pierce and Sid Crow. By using common bacteria found in soil in a new way, they’ve discovered the secret to keeping fruits and vegetables fresher longer.

In our Institute for Biomedical Science, researchers are tackling topics from measles to cancer, looking for new therapies and drugs that could save and extend lives.

When we say Georgia State is a campus without boundaries we are talking about our physical environment and our intellectual reach. Our impact extends well beyond the classroom, affecting the vibrancy of downtown Atlanta, the economy of our region and state and enhancing the quality of life for people around the world.



Mark P. Becker