The ninth annual University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Economic Outlook Conference will be held Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the university’s Burney Center.
The focus of this year’s conference will be biotechnology in southeastern North Carolina, and a panel of experts will talk about how the marine biotechnology industry can impact our region through jobs, sales, real estate, and other areas.
“Marine biotechnology makes a lot of sense, in terms of where we are [located],” said Dr. Woody Hall, professor of economics and finance at UNCW. “We’re the only public university in North Carolina that’s right on the water. The nearby marine environment is an excellent resource for us to utilize.”
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Deborah Mosca, CEO of the Marine Biotechnology Center of Innovation. A former San Diego native, Dr. Mosca came to her position in March 2012 with 31 years of experience in roles of various responsibility in the biotechnology industry.
In her speech, Mosca will describe the work and the functions and aspirations of the MCBOI for the biotechnology industry in North Carolina and around the world. She will also explain the roles students can and have played in developing new ideas and technologies for the future.
“If students, earlier in their career, can see the potential applications of their work,” Mosca said, “that could help them contribute back even during their learning process. This is a way to show them that what they’re studying in class really does have the potential to drive a business or economic improvement in an area, by creating jobs and creating a business and creating a new way of doing things.”
Mosca will be joined by Dan Baden, Ph. D and director of the Center for Marine Science; Rachel Noble, Ph. D and associate professor of Marine Biology at the UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Science Alan Stout, vice president of Glyotech and Carolina Algae; and Randall Johnson, director of the southeastern office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
As in years past, Dr. Hall and fellow professor of economics and finance, Dr. Tom Simpson, will provide their local and national economic forecasts.
A real estate panel composed of Teresa Huffmon, Broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial, Chris Livengood, vice president of marketing with Intracoastal Realty and Haywood Newkirk, appraiser with Clontz Newkirk Real Estate Group, will also be in attendance to provide regional information regarding the real estate market. Each member of the panel will be speaking on their area of expertise in the real estate market, before responding to questions from the audience.
“You’re talking about people out there in the market,” Huffmon said, “that bring in years of experience, years of knowledge, years of market information, not just about real estate but the economy as a whole and how to make it work. Whether you’re from the entrepreneurial program, the business program, the finance program, you’re going to have something you can take away and use when you go on job interviews and when you get into your professional career and field, from this conference.”
The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. in the Burney Center with registration and continental breakfast, and closing remarks are scheduled for 11:45 a.m. After the conference, there will be an optional tour of the Center for Marine Science. Directions will be available at the event, and those attendees must provide their own transportation.