Springfield, MO

Matthew Simpson


OTC exec appointed to Greitens' task force

Posted online
Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Ozarks Technical Community College executive Matthew Simpson to his recently announced Governor’s Innovation Task Force.

Simpson, OTC’s director of research, strategic planning and grant development, is among other private, nonprofit and public sector leaders statewide, according to a news release.

Greitens charged the Governor’s Innovation Task Force with assessing the current state of innovation in Missouri by the end of August, analyzing best practices from other states and developing specific recommendations for what the state can do to promote innovation and new technology startups.

Greitens’ chief operating officer, Drew Erdmann, will head up the project with the help of the nonpartisan Hawthorn Foundation, to improve Missouri’s competitiveness.

“Accelerating the growth of good-paying jobs is critical to Missouri’s future,” Greitens said in a statement. “Missouri must find smart, efficient ways to support innovation, entrepreneurs and new technology startups.

“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 Missouri’s strategy is informed by the best minds from business, nonprofits and government.”

The effort already has the support of statewide business groups, such as the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Startups are critical to Missouri’s success. Established high-tech leaders like Microsoft are also recognizing Missouri is a great place for them to build their businesses,” chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan said in the release. “But we have to keep pace.”

As part of its work, the group will engage innovators, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, scholars and others in workshops in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia and Cape Girardeau. The Queen City workshop is slated for July 19.

According to the Hawthorn Foundation’s website, the task force’s recommendations will help shape the state’s economic development priorities, which Greitens plans to roll out during his address to the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development in early September.    

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