New innovation task force begins town halls across the state


ST. LOUIS – Gov. Eric Greitens’ newly announced Governor’s Innovation Task Force held its first meeting in St. Louis Monday to help promote start-ups as well as new technologies and innovation.

The task force will reportedly bring together lawmakers, entrepreneurs and civic leaders under the direction of Drew Erdmann, the state’s chief operating officer, a position created by the Greitens’ administration.

“Accelerating the growth of good paying jobs is critical to Missouri’s future. Missouri must find smart, efficient ways to support innovation, entrepreneurs, and new technology start-ups,” Greitens’ said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “While Missouri has emerged as a hub for innovation in the Midwest, more must be done if we are to remain competitive and reach Missouri’s full potential as a national leader. The work of the Governor’s Innovation Task Force will ensure that Missouri’s strategy is informed by the best minds from business, nonprofits, and government.”

The Hawthorn Foundation, which works to promote Missouri businesses and spur economic development. There will be meetings of sorts in St. Louis, which took place Monday, as well as Kansas City, this week. In July the group will meet in Columbia, cape Girardeau and Springfield.

Donn Rubin, the president and CEO of BioSTL, praised the decision to for the task force.

“I have seen firsthand the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation in Missouri during the past decade,” Rubin said. “However, we still have gaps and challenges to solve as we strive to be a global leader. I’m optimistic that the Task Force process, which is shaping up to be comprehensive and inclusive, will help define the State of Missouri’s roadmap to innovation-driven economic growth.”